Alarm as crime of passion cases rise

Peter Githaiga | NATION
Clockwise from above: A woman wails after two middle-aged women were stabbed to death allegedly by their neighbour on Thursday night in Kawangware, Nairobi; and the victims Esther Jacinta Mmboga and Lorna Kusa Masidza.

What you need to know:

  • Woman accused of stabbing her husband to death at their house in Kangemi is the latest incident, bringing to 11 the total number of people killed in the past month following domestic disputes

A woman has been accused of killing her husband at their home in Nairobi on Friday, bringing to 11 the total number of people which domestic violence has claimed in the past month.

The killings, sparked by domestic disagreements and love gone sour, are becoming common in Kenya.

Victims of the attacks, commonly referred to as crimes of passion, include men, women and children.

Cases being investigated by the police show that the causes are either family feuds or broken love relations, according to the Criminal Investigations Department boss, Mr Ndegwa Muhoro.

“It’s a big challenge to society. Such cases should be prevented by involving society more than the police.

“If society is keen, such characters (killers) can be detected early enough, counselled and guided because people do not change overnight,” the CID boss said.

Mr Boniface Khayega’s body was on Friday found with stab wounds at his house on Malenga Road, near Mountain View Estate in Kangemi, Nairobi.

He lived there with his wife, who is being sought by police in connection with the killing.

Neighbours said that they heard screams from the house the previous night but did not bother to check.

On Thursday, Ms Jacinta Mmboga, 35, and Ms Lorna Masidza, 31, were stabbed to death allegedly by a neighbour at their home in Kawangware, Nairobi.

They are said to have quarrelled over the whereabouts of the suspect’s 11-year-old daughter, who went missing from home.

Although such killings arise as a result of sudden rage or heartbreak as opposed to premeditated crime, Mr Muhoro said the suspects are treated just like any other person who commits a capital offence.

“Circumstances vary, but murder is murder and it’s covered in the Penal Code,” he said.

Mr Muhoro added: “Religious groups and the entire society have an obligation to ensure people discuss their problems.

“By so doing, would-be offenders might discover that they are facing a problem shared by many others.”

In a similar incident, a 43-year-old man went berserk and slashed his wife to death after he was accused of having an extra-marital affair at Gichiche in Mbeere South District on September 5.

The victim is said to have questioned her husband over rumours spreading in the village that he was having an affair outside their marriage.

On August 28, residents of Nyalenda slums in Kisumu were shocked by the killing of a woman and her three children purportedly by a man they called their father for six years.

The suspect inherited Ms Pamela Orawo in 2006 and had been living with her and the children since then.

The bodies were found lying on the floor.

Barely three weeks ago, the body of a woman who worked at a bar in Kinoo was found lying on a footpath.

The woman is believed to have been killed while walking home from the shopping centre around 10pm by a man whom witnesses identified as her boyfriend.

The boyfriend was the last person seen in the company of the woman and the two had left the bar together.

In yet another gruesome incident, a man stabbed his two brothers to death in Wangige, Kiambu, on September 5.

The killer stormed the house where his eldest brother, 46-year-old Evanson Kanja, was bed-ridden, having suffered a stroke two years back, and stabbed him 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach.

Moments earlier, he had killed his other brother, 43-year-old Martin Karanja, at his house, some 200 metres away.