Two cases of Nairobi women plotting to kill their estranged husbands have raised concerns over the rise of passion related crimes.
Police in Nairobi on Sunday arrested a woman who was planning the murder of her husband in Karen, days after another woman was arrested for a similar offence.
Monica Kalondu Wambua was arraigned at the Kibera law courts on Monday and charged with murder conspiracy against her estranged husband Mr Eric Njiiri Murigu in what could be a fight over matrimonial property.
Last week Wednesday, an estranged wife of a Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) employee was also arrested together with her relatives for conspiring to kill her former husband. Ms Bilha Njoki had hired hit men to kill her former husband but police got the information and laid a trap.
Besides raw greed and revenge, which were closely associated with the two cases, there are also underlying mental conditions that can explain why people decide to kill their spouses.
According to a Nairobi based psychologist Ken Munyua, the cases could be on the rise as a result of a borrowed disorder.
KILL THEIR PARTNERS
“It is a disorder where people who are frustrated would like to follow suit and kill their partners just like another person did,” says Mr Munyua.
He says the cases could also be as a result of psychosis, a severe mental disorder that requires medical treatment.
“If its psychosis, it is reversible and treatable as depression where people are ready to hurt others and could also hurt themselves as is the case in borderline depression,” says Mr Munyua.
In such cases, husbands and wives are urged to be on the lookout for signs in their spouses’ behaviour such as withdrawal and too much emphasis on grief.
“You have to know your partner such that you are able to tell if they are not showing concern anymore,” says Mr Munyua, adding that one could even engage the services of a private investigator.
Depressed spouses, just like people with other forms of mental conditions, do not realise that they are sick and so pleas to seek counselling may fall on deaf ears.
Mr Munyua advises partners to seek help on behalf of their affected spouse so as to get to know how to handle them.
“If it is a security threat, report to the authorities and if no action is taken, force your partner to seek psychiatric help by dragging them by force even if it means tying them down,” says Mr Munyua.
Another psychologist, John Gacheru, says cases of lover’s tiffs can be attributed to the Othello Syndrome. It is a condition whereby a spouse is overly possessive and their thinking is, “if I cannot have you, then no one else will.”
In some cases, the siblings are brought in as accomplices as was the case for the Buruburu woman Ms Bilha Njoki, who sent her brother Peter Gakungi and a friend Jimmy Waititu to confirm if her ex-husband had been killed.
She was later arrested alongside her sister Lucy Mwangi aboard a luxury vehicle that was filled with alcoholic drinks meant to celebrate the “achievement.”
According to Mr Munyua, family members often become part of the plot because of sharing the pain of their sibling, as well as being familiar with the circumstance of the marriage.
“When you hurt one person, you hurt the entire family. And so because of sharing so much, the family agonizes with their kin, and since one sick person makes the entire family sick, they all seek revenge for their kin,” he adds.
Mr Munyua advises couples to open up and communicate more as opposed to telling outsiders what they are going through.
“We are living in a time where couples do not communicate. People need to mature up and communicate with each other as opposed to sharing through social media and other platforms,” concludes Mr Munyua.