An enraged man in Ibacho, Kisii County, went berserk, set on fire his family’s houses and attempted to take his own life and those of his wife and three children.
Mr Kefa Mobisa, now in police custody, was said to have turned into a drug user and peddler, a business he started after a school he had set up collapsed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week, he reportedly dug two graves in one of his houses, one for his wife and another for his one-year-old son, before attaching a rope to the roof of his house to hang himself.
He then set his other house on fire, before taking a panga and brandishing it in the air and threatening to cut into pieces people who had gathered in his compound.
He was said to have taken out a loan from a self-help group to build a school at his Ibacho home, but things went horribly wrong and he defaulted.
His wife, Billiah Kwamboka, told the Nation that her husband, a trained teacher, fell into depression and a financial crisis after the school crumbled.
“We took out a Sh150,000 loan in 2019 just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country. We borrowed the money from Mwembe Self-Help Group in Ibacho,” Ms Kwamboka said.
“We started Blessed Minds Academy, which had a kindergarten and primary school. We built a permanent structure with eight classrooms. We were doing well, until we were unable to repay the loan and the self-help group came for our land.”
In early 2021, she said, the loan started accruing interest and rose to Sh450,000, which they were unable to pay. The amount increased quickly, because they were charged 20 percent interest.
“They later came for our land, measuring 100 by 100 metres. They put a fence around it and wanted no negotiations with us. Frustrated, my husband turned into consuming and selling chang’aa and bhang,” Ms Kwamboka said.
She reported the matter to her in-laws and local administrators, but they did not take her seriously.
When the situation got out of hand and the 40-year-old man started threatening her and their children, Ibacho Chief Kefa Nyakundi called Mr Mobisa to a meeting and warned him.
“My husband got very angry on Thursday when our chief came here and roughed up people who were taking liquor in our house. The chief asked him to stop that trade,” Ms Kwamboka said.
“In protest, he took a panga and moved around our homestead, brandishing it and threatening to attack anyone in sight. He then dug the two graves in our house and prepared a rope to hang himself from the roof.”
She said her husband later started praising Prof George Wajackoyah, the Roots Party presidential candidate in the August 9 elections.
“He often got thrilled about Wajackoyah's manifesto that proposed exporting bhang. The name Wajackoyah Hotel has been painted on the gate leading to the school,” Ms Kwamboka said.
She said her husband sold all their land and even removed the iron sheets covering the school and sold them.
Ms Kwamboka said she and her three children, two of whom are Standard Eight candidates, relocated and now live in a rented house. Under the Abagusii culture, she could not continue living in a house with graves in it.