Filial Murder Shocks Community
Volume 1, Issue 4-5 / March-April 2009
A man killed his wife on the morning of 19th March, shocking the entire community and leaving two children motherless.
On 19th of March 2009, Kakuma residents awoke in the morning to reports that a young mother had lost her life at the hands of her maddened husband.
The young mother of two children, who will not be named out of respect for the family, came from the Kamba community of eastern Kenya. She had woken up earlier than usual on this particular morning to prepare her children for school, according to a witness who requested anonymity. She went to fetch water and buy some mandazi (fried sweetbread) from a nearby hotel. Then she headed back to her house.
Twenty minutes later, the witness reports, “somebody came running and told me, ‘What are you doing here yet your fellow Kamba people are killing each other in their house?’”
When he reached the scene, he found that the house had been locked from inside and blood was flowing out under the door of the house.
“I definitely knew that things were not good. Immediately police came and broke into the house. Then the worst was revealed. The lady lay down sprawled on the floor dead with many cuts in her body, while the man [her husband] was beside her unconscious,” says the witness.
The woman was first taken to the police station and then to Lodwar District Hospital Mortuary. The man was taken to Kakuma Mission Hospital where he remains being treated. The man had a deep cut in his stomach and is believed to have swallowed poison at the time of the incident. He has gradually gained consciousness and doctors expect him to recover with time.
The two children, a boy and girl were both under ten years of age, were taken to their maternal grandmother’s house in Eastern Province, Kenya. Their mother was buried on Monday, 23rd March, at her home in Eastern Province. The man who killed their mother was the children’s stepfather.
The woman had been working as a cook in the GTZ (German Development Cooperation) cafeteria in the NGO compound. Her husband was working as a kitchen staff with LWF (Lutheran World Federation) until he recently lost his job.
The man is now being held under police guard in his bed at the hospital. Those who visited the man in the hospital report that when asked about his wife, he claims that his wife had stabbed him with a knife and run away into the bush. He reportedly requested his visitors to search for her in the bush.
It is rumored among the community that some form of bewitchment was implicated in the event. The Kamba community is widely known for its practices in witchcraft, particularly in dealing with relationships. Others maintain that the man was simply insane.
Generally, security in Kakuma has been improving since the Kenyan GSU troops (General Services Unit) were deployed with the police in July 2008.