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Sudden spike in partner killing over last week causes worry

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 02:15 | By
Faith Musembi
Faith Musembi, 19, a first-year student at Mount Kenya University (MKU) main campus. PHOTO/Print

The country has witnessed an increase in intimate partner killings, with at least four cases reported in the past one week, with three of the victims stabbed to death.

The deaths signal an increase in intimate partner violence (IPV) that has partly been attributed to extra-marital relationships.

One of the latest victims is a first-year university student who was murdered on May 8 at her rented room in Thika.

On Sunday, another man was stabbed to death in Likoni, Mombasa county by his female companion following a domestic quarrel.

Idd Abdalla Rashid, 50, had a quarrel with the woman who then stabbed him on the stomach at their residence in Mtaa wa Makka Timbwani, Likoni.

The victim was rushed to Likoni Sub-County hospital where he was treated and referred to Coast General hospital.

He however succumbed to the injuries at the hospital while undergoing treatment. Likoni Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the suspect disappeared after the attack but was being sought.

In the Thika case, Faith Musembi, 19, a first-year student at Mount Kenya University (MKU) main campus, was found murdered in her rented room at Pilot Estate in Thika.

Detectives on Monday arrested her boyfriend, David Kioko, a 25-year old student from Tom Mboya University in connection to the brutal murder.

Girlfriend murder

Kioko was arrested after preliminary investigations linked him to the murder of the girlfriend who was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.

It is suspected that Kioko killed her over infidelity allegations. An autopsy conducted at the Thika General Kago Funeral Home indicated that she succumbed due to excessive bleeding.

The deceased father said that they received a phone call from an unknown individual demanding a ransom of Sh20,000 for the release of their daughter.

The caller used the deceased phone to make the ransom call. The family sent the money for the sake of their daughter’s safety and proceeded to Thika where they reported the matter to the police but they were reluctant to investigate. They then went to the campus and later to her rented room where they found her lifeless body lying on the bed.

In another case, a popular Ohangla fan, Sheila Odoyo, was also found murdered in her matrimonial bed at their residence in Hill View estate, Athi River, Machakos County on May 9.

Pool of blood

According to Athi River DCI boss, Wesley Langat, the body was found in a pool of blood with a deep cut on the throat.

“There were signs of struggle in the bedroom. We are treating the husband as a person of interest. We are, however, yet to recover the murder weapon,” another detective said.

Langat said the husband, Jackson Bambo, 45, is suspected to have killed his wife before escaping to Migori County.

Bambo left the house at around 1am and drove the family car, a Mitsubishi Outlander, registration number KDM 798M, to Nairobi city center and left the car at a parking spot near Kencom, Moi Avenue at around 2.30am.

He gave the parking attendant Sh450 and left the car with three bags and headed towards Afya Centre along Tom Mboya Street. His last phone signals were traced to Narok on Thursday at around 6.26am before the phone was switched off.

He has not been traced even at his rural home, about 1 kilometer from Uriri town in Migori County.

 According to a recent report by the National Crime Report Centre (NCRC), majority of those killed by their intimate partner were married and living together with the person who attacked them.

Stabbing is said to be the most common mode of killing, according to a report titled Masculinity and Intimate Partner Violence in Kenya.

Prior to these alarming statistics it was already recognised that intimate partner violence (IPV) is common and normalised affecting 4 out of 10 women in Kenya, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

Worldwide, IPV affects around a third of women and leads to a range of physical, sexual, reproductive and mental problems.

A number of contributory factors have been identified as individual, family, community and wider society levels. Experts say economic and work stress can lead to gender-based violence through feelings of low self-esteem and inadequacy and the need to reassert dominance to preserve status. The report has identified some issues that aggravate the situation including having another partner, refusal to have sex, refusal to have children or more children, poverty and neglect of household duties.

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