Mother from hell? How Kisumu woman ‘struggled’ to kill her own baby

Kisumu woman to be sentenced after admitting to killing her three-year-old son. 

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What you need to know:

  • The accused told a packed courtroom how she hurled the child into the abandoned quarry.

A woman shocked a courtroom in Kisumu when she confessed to killing her three-year-old son by throwing him into a flooded quarry.

Margaret Achieng, 23, a waitress at a local hotel, is accused of committing the murder on May 7, 2023 at Kanyakwar area in Kisumu County. 

On Tuesday, the accused, who underwent a mental test and was found fit to stand trial, told a packed courtroom how she hurled the child into the abandoned quarry, claiming that she could not take care of him with her “meager earnings”.

“My name is Margaret Achieng. I lived in Kondele, and used to work in a hotel. Reagan Otieno was my son. My boyfriend (father of the late Otieno) left me when I fell pregnant in 2021. I used to do menial jobs to feed him,” she told High Court Judge Roselyne Aburili.

“When I got a job at the hotel, I took my son to live with my uncle in Obunga slums. One day, another uncle of mine came and told me to go pick up my son, claiming that the boy was suffering.”

On visiting Obunga, the accused further informed the court that she found her son living a miserable life, “yet I used to send money to my uncle to provide for the child.

“I took the child to my new boyfriend’s house where I made tea and mixed it with paraffin. I gave him to drink but he refused. I tried to strangle him but he couldn’t die, so I took him to the quarry and threw him in the stagnant water. I could hear him crying,” Achieng recounted to the court.

Judge Aburili asked her, “So why did you kill the baby instead of taking him to a children’s home?”

Achieng responded, “I took him to Mama Ngina Children’s Home and left him at the gate but he ran back and followed me home while crying.”

The judge enquired again why the accused did not take the boy to his father.

“His father had been arrested for defilement,” she replied.

Defense counsel Joel Orego informed the court that his client was frustrated by parenthood after being abandoned by her boyfriend.

“My client has learned her lessons and she regrets the incident, and has been in custody.  She is only guilty of manslaughter, I pray that the court will acquit her of the murder charges, I pray for leniency,” he submitted.

The prosecution on its part stated that, “having listened to the accused, it is clear that the murder was pre-determined. She gave him paraffin, then tried to strangle him and finally threw the child in to a quarry.  She planned for the murder of the child; she should be found guilty of the murder as charged.”

Seven prosecution witnesses have so far testified before Justice Aburili.

The judge ruled that Achieng remain in custody as she set the judgment for August 7, 2024.