Mum maimed by partner now wants him freed from prison

Violet Mukhwana

Violet Mukhwana shows the scars of an attack by her husband who was later jailed for the crime. She now wants him released from jail, saying she has forgiven him.


Photo credit: Macharia Mwangi | Nation Media Group

Violet Mukhwana, 24, bears permanent scars from a cruel attack by her husband last year. Her enraged spouse maimed her moments after returning to their house in Naivasha.

She suffered deep panga cuts in her hands, legs, cheeks and nape. The extreme violence left her unconscious. She was hospitalised for more than two months and underwent numerous surgeries.

But now, to the consternation of many, she wants her husband, who was handed a life sentence for the heartless attack, set free to help her bring up their children. 

Recalling the sequence of events, the mother of two said she had just returned from a visit to Navakholo, Kakamega County, when the incident occurred.

“I went to collect our children’s birth certificates from my native village and spent a fortnight there. He summoned me back and I duly obliged,” she recollected.

After arriving in Naivasha, Ms Mukhwana was picked up on a motorcycle from a bus terminus by her husband and taken to their home in Karagita.

“I went straight to the kitchen and started preparing tea before I could embark on cooking supper,” she narrated.

Before she could finish her duties, her husband, Jackson Mukhwana, asked her to join him in the sitting room. Nothing seemed amiss.

“Things took a different turn after he forced me to call one of my brothers and inform him to come and collect my body in the house,” she said.

She went cold with fear and could not utter a word as her husband stood menacingly, issuing threats.

“I could not understand what got over him. He was shaking with rage,” she continued.

Attacked his wife

Suddenly, he drew a sharp panga and attacked his wife, cutting her until she passed out. Their seven-year-old child was not spared either and bore the brunt of the seething anger.   

The man then surrendered to the nearby police station and informed officers that he had “killed his wife” and the body was lying in the house.

Neighbours who heard the commotion helped take the badly injured woman to a hospital, where she would spend the next two months undergoing reconstructive surgery.

She was finally discharged and taken to a rescue centre before opting to return to her native Kakamega County.

On Tuesday, the woman shocked officers at the Naivasha Police Station when she said she had forgiven her husband and wanted him released.

The man was handed a life sentence by a Naivasha court in December after he was found guilty of the brutal attack.

“I want my husband released so that he can assist in bringing up our two children. I’m also expecting our third child and life has become a major struggle,” she told the officers.

Jobless

Speaking to the Nation, Ms Mukhwana said her firstborn had dropped out of school and she could hardly afford to take care of the children as she is jobless.

“I was a hairdresser before the attack but I can barely undertake any job, because I have not fully recovered to use my hands due to the nature of the injuries.”

She insisted she had already forgiven her husband and wanted him to join her in bringing up their children.

“I’m about to give birth to my third child and I shudder at the thought of bringing up the child without support.”

The two had been married for seven years when the attack happened, with Ms Mukhwana saying her husband had never raised a finger at her before the August incident.

She appealed to well-wishers to help her start an income-generating project.

“I had dreamt of starting a cosmetics shop but did not have the required cash.”

Having lost both her parents, Ms Mukhwana said she did not have anyone to look up to for support.

Human rights crusader John Kinuthia said money was raised to help the woman pay for her treatment at various hospitals.

He said the attack was “horrific”, urging couples to seek nonviolent ways of resolving their disputes.

“She was nearly butchered by the irate husband and she is lucky to be alive. Opting to forgive her husband is a personal choice,” Mr Kinuthia said.

Lawyer’s reaction

Reacting to the woman’s demand, lawyer George Kimani, a conflict resolution expert, explained that the purpose of jailing an individual was largely to deter the offender from a repeat crime.

“The long and short of it is to ensure that justice is served,” he said.

He said the law does not bar a victim from making amends with the culprit, citing Article 159 of the Constitution which encourages parties to, at any time of the trial, or at any other time, seek amicable resolution to a dispute.

“Since the person is jailed. The complainant can make an application for a review of the jail term and seek the invocation of Article 159 of the Constitution to ensure reconciliation,” said Mr Kimani.

“The court can give conditional reconciliation terms to ensure that the person is released from jail to come and execute his parental obligation including financial support whereas they remain separated due to the nature of the crime,” he added.


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