I’ve seen and heard stories of domestic violence but this particular one made my heart miss a beat, my body went cold and my blood boiled hot with rage. Your reaction could be worse!
In what is undeniably one of the most atrocious cases of domestic violence, a 34-year-old Kenyan man, Stephen Ngila Thenge, reportedly chopped off his wife’s hands with a large knife on July 24, for her inability to have children, seven years after their marriage.
The 28-year-old woman, Jackline Mwende from Kathama Village, Masii in Machakos County, had her hands chopped off at the wrist by her husband in addition to injuries he inflicted on her head and neck during the gruesome attack.
According to the victim’s relatives, the couple had been having issues and Jackline wanted to leave her husband but was advised against it by “their pastor”.
Speaking to the Nation Kenya at her father’s Kathama home, where she now stays after her discharge from the hospital on Friday, July 29, Jackline said that before the attack, they had separated for about three months over failure to have children
“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.”
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Instead of seeking for solution, the man, a tailor at Masii town, refused to follow up on treatment. “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”, the victim said. Although she called out for help, the man fled before neighbours arrived the scene.
Surprised villagers described Mr Thenge as a very “polite man”. The Kenyan man was arrested on Monday July 25 in Machakos town hours after he ran away from his home in Masii.
Jackline’s parents who are not financially fit are now begging for help to take care of their child. Her father 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.”