Troubled man poisons 4 children, dies by suicide after wife demands upkeep

Medics attend to one of the survivors of the brutal attack by their father at Homa Bay's main hospital.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group.

Four children are fighting for their lives at the Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital after their father tried to kill them by giving them poison before stabbing them in the abdomens.

The suspect, who later died by suicide, is said to have been angered by a move by his wife to report him to the children's services office in Rangwe for failing to provide for his family.

When he got information that he was to appear before a children's officer over the matter, he hatched a plan to eliminate them with poison before stabbing them.

The family lives at Nyagoro trading centre in East Kochia location in Rangwe.

The couple were blessed with four children; male twins aged three years and two girls aged five and nine.

The family has been struggling to survive the harsh economic times after the man lost his job.

The woman said her husband was working at a milling plant in Kisumu but was recently laid off.

"I studied procurement but I am yet to be employed. Our family was relying on the support from my husband whose source of income was cut off," she said.

According to the woman, the deceased was suffering from diabetes and he was having difficulties purchasing insulin.

"At times he would turn wild and threaten to kill me. I would run away to the neighbours to save myself," she said.

It is reported that the deceased has been having frequent domestic squabbles with his wife which the woman said was due to frustrations that the man had.

She said they would fight and sometimes the man would threaten that he would stab her.

Some of the issues they argued about was the lack of food.

The death threats were first reported to an assistant chief who advised the woman to seek help from other relevant offices.

"I was told to stay away from the man for some time so his temper can subside. I would sleep at the neighbours’ house because of the threats I got," she said.

Handled in a better way

East Kochia location acting Chief Kenneth Odero said the woman was referred to the children's office where the matter could have been handled in a better way.

Mr Odero said the woman was given a letter summoning her husband to appear before a mediator.

"Her intention was to solve their differences. She managed to get a letter that could have initiated the process," the administrator said.

On her way back home, she went to Omoya chief’s camp to drop the letter before she proceeded home.

At home, the woman was surprised when she found her door locked from the inside.

Lying on the floor

Mr Odero said the woman reported that she forcefully got into the house where she found her four children lying on the floor with stab wounds. 

"Her husband was also lying on the floor," he said.

Residents rushed to the scene after the woman raised an alarm.

Some boda boda riders who were within Nyagoro trading centre also rushed to the home.

They offered their motorcycles to be used to take the children to the hospital.

Mr Odero said the children were first taken to a private hospital at Nyangweso trading centre before they were referred to the county teaching and referral hospital due to the extent of their injuries.

"Police officers from Rangwe were called to the scene to investigate the matter," he said.

Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital Chief Executive Officer Peter Ogolla told journalists that two children are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with the other two admitted to the children's general wards.

They had undergone surgery to repair their abdomen which had stab wounds.

"They had perforations in their internal organs, especially the intestines. We were able to repair them and we hope they will stabilise soon," Dr Ogolla said.

One of the minors is suspected to have consumed the most poison. Doctors are working hard to stabilise him.

Mr Odero advised couples to find peaceful ways of solving disputes.

The body of the deceased was taken to Homa Bay County referral hospital mortuary for postmortem.