The Morticians and Allied Professionals Association of Kenya (MAPAKe) Wednesday condemned Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome over his claim that politicians were hiring dead bodies from mortuaries and parading them as victims of police brutality during the anti-government protests.
They demanded an apology from the police boss.
In a statement to newsrooms, the morticians faulted Koome over his claims labeling them unfair to their professionalism.
They also reiterated their commitment to adhering to moral ethics and the rule of law.
“We condemn the statement made by the Inspector General of Police Mr. Japheth Koome because we believe that no mortuary technician in the Kenya of today can even attempt to do such a thing,” said the association.
“The office of the Inspector General is such a respected office to even attempt to lower it to such unimaginable actions.
We work very closely with the police service in our day-to-day operations and believe that this position we are taking is very well known to the Inspector General.”
They demanded Koome substantiate his sentiments by ensuring anyone culpable faces the law, failure to which he should withdraw his remarks which they say taints their image and profession.
“We demand the Inspector General to furnish both Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board; the two registering, regulating, and licensing bodies of mortuary technicians and the mortuary facilities respectively the particulars of those implicated for investigation and if found culpable, necessary disciplinary actions taken against them,” read part of the statement.
“Failure to do so, the Inspector General should withdraw his remarks against the facilities as he put it and also the Mortuary practitioners as he also put it in his statement.”
MAPAKe said they are regulated by the law under the Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority (KHPOA), adding that their ethical guidelines emphasize the respect of the dead.
“Mortuary technicians are no longer the rogue, careless, dirty, drunk, and reckless uneducated individuals.
Mortuary technicians are registered, licensed, and regulated by a Government Authority established by an Act of Parliament; Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority (KHPOA),” they stated.
“Mortuary technicians are governed by ethics, chiefly among them being, respect and confidentiality of the deceased and respect for the loss, feelings and the right of the bereaved to mourn their loved ones in peace.
Mortuary technicians operate within and observe the laws of Kenya in all our practice.”
IG Koome on Tuesday said he had intelligence that some leaders conspired with mortuary attendants to hire bodies to take pictures, after which they post them on social media platforms to taint the image of the police force.
“The information I have is they go to some of the mortuaries, compromise the workers there, people even who died of some illness, people who died maybe out of an accident or other causes, they take photographs of such bodies and blame on the police,” claimed Koome with no evidence.
The claims have attracted the ire of a section of the political class, with the opposition faction urging the IG to retract and apologize to Kenyans.