A missing husband, dead pregnant wife and claims of denied conjugal rights

Twenty-six-year old Risper Chizi whose body was found with stab wounds on her back. Police say her husband, Hillary Tsuma, 22, is the prime suspect in the woman’s murder.

Photo credit: Maureen Ongala I Nation Media Group

Since they married and settled in their home at Mwanzai/Tsagwa in Kaloleni, Kilifi County, in March 2022, Risper Chizi and her husband Hillary Tsuma were described by their neighbours as the perfect couple.

However, last Saturday, villagers were shocked when an announcement was made at a burial that a woman’s body had been discovered in the area and help was required to help identify who she was.

The naked body was positively identified as that of 26-year-old Chizi, who was four months pregnant. It had knife stab wounds on the back.

Police say Tsuma,22, is the prime suspect in her killing.

Preliminary investigations show her killer or killers strangled her and also broke her hands.

Additionally, she had bruises on her knees and private parts.

Kaloleni sub-county police boss Alexander Makau said the husband had fled after the killing.

“Her family is working closely with the police to arrest the husband,” he said. 

Chizi’s family spokesperson, her brother Jimmy Ngala, confirmed the couple had differed, leading to her leaving her matrimonial home for her parents’ home in Mwarakaya village.

Mr Ngala said his sister disclosed that her husband often physically abused her and she was tired of the beatings.

“My sister said that her husband had developed a habit of coming home late at night and starting to demand sex, and would beat her up every time she declined because she was expectant. She had come home because of the husband’s beatings,” he said.

Last Thursday, Mr Tsuma and his family visited Chizi’s home to address the dispute, said Mr Ngala.

However, Chizi asked for more time to think over the matter and finally decide whether or not she would go back to her home.

“Our brother-in-law did not deny beating our sister, and our family asked him to go back home, and come on Sunday at 9am when our sister would be more up for further talks,” he said.

According to Mr Ngala, on Friday night, the husband attended a funeral in the nearby Mwarakaya village.

He met Chizi and convinced her to accompany him to their house to pick up some of her things.

The couple then proceeded to their home, about two kilometres from Mwarakaya.

“But because of her safety, we asked our younger brother to drop them on a motorbike and come back with her,” added Mr Ngala.

The couple arrived at their home and Chizi’s brother waited on the roadside for her.

However, minutes turned into hours, and the brother left.

“My brother did not know what was happening. He kept on waiting until he decided to leave. He imagined that the couple agreed to spend the night together. On Saturday, at 1pm, while at the burial of a neighbour, an announcement was made of the discovery of an unknown female’s body, with the public asked to help identify her,” he added.

At the couple’s house, there were drops of blood and drag marks, suggesting the woman could have been killed in the house.

A post-mortem will be conducted on Monday at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital mortuary.

“We want justice for our sister. We suspect it was a set-up and that there was a group of people involved in killing our sister. The husband could not have done it by himself,” Mr Ngala said.


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