ZOMBO. There is a growing tendency among members of the community rejecting postmortem on their deceased relatives under claims that the practice is a disturbance to the peace of the dead.
Information obtained from Paidha central police station, Zombo district indicates that some relatives to the people who lost their lives during the festive season barred police from carrying out postmortem on the bodies of the deceased.
The dead included a woman from Padea custom, Jangokororo sub-county who was lynched by a mob over witchcraft allegations and two other men who committed suicide by hanging in Zombo and Paidha town councils.
Mr John Gingiera, a relative to one of the deceased said on Friday that besides bringing unnecessary costs to the bereaved family members, postmortem causes anxiety that adds to the sorrows of the already grieve stricken family members and friends of the deceased.
According to Gingiera, postmortem should be conducted on people who die mysteriously but not those whose causes of death are self-explanatory.
“I would suggest that postmortem be done on dumped bodies and those believed to have been poisoned but here you find someone has committed suicide, died of accident or was beaten to death and you want a postmortem done on bodies that even babies knew why they laid lifeless,” he stated.
Ms Sharon Piracel, a resident of Jupanyondo East cell in Paidha town council said in 2018, her relatives turned away a postmortem team sent by police after unknown people set her brother’s house ablaze, leaving his charred body which the police wanted to undergo postmortem.
She, however, said her relatives came to realize the importance of the postmortem report after some suspects into the arson case were arrested months later and the court wanted a postmortem report which was nowhere to be seen.
Piracel recalled that the suspects were eventually left free on account of the lack of supportive documents to proceed with prosecution.
“People should allow the police to do their work and for me, people turn away the police when it comes to issues of postmortem because of ignorance and unwillingness to pay the little charge levied on it,” she said.
Mr Abubaker Musiho, the Zombo district police commander (DPC) told West Nile Web in an interview on Friday afternoon that postmortem is a legal requirement that is among others; used in issuing out death certificates and anyone who plays around with it interferes with a legal process.
He confirmed that police officers have on many occasions been blocked from carrying out postmortem, a thing that has always made legal redress difficult if not impossible.
“I don’t like this and recently, a prominent man whose names I’m not going to reveal stopped us from carrying out a postmortem on his deceased relatives for reasons he didn’t disclose,” he said.
Musiho said initially, the police had its surgeon who would carry out postmortem but due to some challenges, it can now be done by qualified medical officers found at almost all the health center IIIs across the district.
He advised the population to allow police to do their work without interference because they exist to serve the people and this can only be made possible if there is cooperation, mutual trust, and responsibility.
“Postmortem costs less than shs150, 000 but most people think about the monetary aspect instead of its importance in the management of legal matters that may arise in the aftermath of someone’s death,” the DPC said.
Police has always held tougher negotiations before conducting postmortem, an attitude they say needs intensive sensitization to twist.