What you need to know:
- Infant's mother said she had borrowed Sh2,500 from the group and only managed to repay Sh1,500.
- Some chama members threatened to have her property auctioned in lieu of the debt.
A fight over a Sh1,000 merry-go-round debt in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay County, led to the death of a two-month-old baby who fell in hot porridge as his mother tried to defend herself from being harmed by members of her chama (voluntary group).
Sheldon Chechi, died on Friday evening after his mother lost her balance after she was allegedly pushed and he fell in the porridge his mother had been preparing at Koduol B village in South East Kabuoch Sub-location.
The mother, Sharon Auma, 19, said she was preparing porridge when her fellow chama members knocked on her door to demand payment of an outstanding Sh1,000 debt she owed the group.
She told them she did not have the money then and asked for more time to enable her to repay the loan.
“Some members became violent and confronted me,” Ms Auma said.
She had borrowed Sh2,500 from the group and only managed to repay Sh1,500 on time leaving her with a debt of Sh1,000.
Some chama members threatened to have her property auctioned in lieu of the debt. Indeed, Auma said, some of them barged into her house and ransacked it for valuables to cover the loan and confiscated 16 kilos of maize from her bedroom.
“It was the only food I had in reserve and could not let them take it,” Auma said.
As she physically tried to prevent her maize from being taken away, she stumbled and Baby Sheldon It slipped from her hands and into the boiling porridge and died soon thereafter.
Assistant Chief Benson Adongo said the infant died on the way to Homa Bay County Referral Hospital and is currently lying at Manyatta Kobodo mortuary.