In one of the most atrocious cases of domestic violence, a man chopped off the hands of his wife of seven years because they cannot have children.
Ms Jackline Mwende, 27, of Kathama Village, Masii in Machakos County, is also nursing injuries on her head and neck after her husband, Mr Stephen Ngila Thenge, 34, attacked her with a panga on July 24.
On Sunday, Ms Mwende – a shopkeeper – told the Nation that before the attack, they had separated for about three months over not having a child.
“I could not understand why he was blaming me yet we had gone to hospital last year and the doctors had said he was the one with issues, which could be corrected,” she said at her father’s Kathama home, where she leaves after being discharged from Machakos Level 5 Hospital on Friday.
She said her husband, a tailor at Masii town, refused to follow up on treatment.
She added: “He moved out of our house three months ago and came back on Sunday (July 24) at around 8.30pm. When I opened the door, he said ‘today is your last day’ and started slashing me with the panga.”
Ms Mwende called out for help but the man fled after neighbours responded.
“They were all afraid of touching me, they thought I was dead. I was rushed to Machakos Hospital where I was given painkillers and got a blood transfusion. I was discharged on Friday.”
Relatives say the couple had been having issues and Ms Mwende wanted to leave her husband but was advised against it by “their pastor”.
ASKING FOR ASSISTANCE
The sleepy village is still in shock but villagers said Mr Thenge is a “very polite man”.
The man was arrested on Monday July 25 at around 1pm in Machakos town hours after he fled his home in Masii. Ms Mwende is one of seven children of Mr Samuel Munyoki Kyule and Mrs Jane Munyoki Kyule.
Her jobless parents are now appealing for help to take care of their child.
Mr Munyoki said: “We want justice for our daughter. The person who did this should pay for it. She is now disabled and will need artificial hands to get her life together but we can’t afford anything. We are poor, we can’t even afford her painkillers.”
Ms Mwende said she was leaving everything to God even as she expected justice from the courts.
When we visited her at the female surgical ward before she was discharged on Friday, she could only utter a few words before she broke into sobs.
Machakos women Representative Dr Susan Musyoka condemned violence and said justice must be done. “She was attacked by her husband simply because she could not give birth. This is inhumane.” said Dr Musyoka.