the same counsel many women in abusive relationships get: stay and
fight for your marriage.
The first pastor she went to for advice told her to stay and pray for her marriage.
before Ms Mwende’s hands were hacked off by her husband, Stephen Ngila,
34, for not conceiving, their seven-year marriage had been plagued with
constant fights that stemmed from not having a child.
hospital in Nairobi told the couple that Ms Mwende was fertile and
healthy but her husband had reproductive “issues”. However, she believed
in her marriage and had been advised by another pastor and some of her
friends to stay and try to save it.
Pastor Patrick Kioko of Masii
District SDA church, who was the couple’s best man on Monday told
Nation Kenya that the marriage between Ms Mwende and Mr Ngila had been
rosy at the beginning but things started changing towards the end of
“It seemed there was hope for reconciliation but the
man was not ready to mend the union. In fact, he even moved out and
rented a room in Masii town.”
He said Mwende was afraid “to be seen as the one who broke her marriage”.
was escalated to a church hearing because the issues seemed unresolved
and the couple was urged to settle their differences and save their
“But we noticed the man was determined to leave. So it
was agreed that they live in peace in their separate homes and ask the
courts to dissolve the marriage. Because, as a church, we don’t end
He said the church was planning to bring them together but then the attack happened.
were shocked how it turned out even after all the effort we put in.
Anger is dangerous in a union and this is something we all should learn
FROM LOVE TO HATE
Ms Mwende met
Mr Ngila, a tailor, shortly after finishing Standard Eight in Kathama
Primary School, Machakos County, in 2010, and she says it was love at
first sight. She described her husband as a “kind and God-fearing” man.
taught me how to make dresses and clothes. We fell in love during this
time and we had a church wedding three months later,” she said. “But he
gradually became violent and a drunk. He spent more time in Masii town
and would come back late at night, drunk and violent. He also chewed
miraa. When he attacked me on Sunday, he was drunk. But I stayed because
I wanted to save the marriage and my home.”
Tears welled up in her mother’s eyes on hearing her daughter’s determination to save her marriage.
pleaded with her to pack her things and leave their home in Ilinge
village because of the constant quarrels, but she said he would change.
Then this happened,” Ms Jane Munyoki, the mother, lamented. “I gave him
my daughter, who was complete and well, and now she does not have hands.
I hope the government does not release him. I am afraid that if he is
let go, I will die of depression.”
When the Nation visited the house where Ms Mwende was attacked, an eerie silence enveloped the three-bedroom brick structure built atop a hill.
metal door had been locked — by the police, according to family
members. We peeped inside, only to behold what looked like a scene from a
There was dried blood on the earthen floor where
Ms Mwende had been found bleeding. There was more blood on household
items inside the house, which has beautiful views of the expansive Masii
“We found one of her arms on the door while the other dangled by the skin,” said a neighbour
Stephen Ngila has been charged with attempted murder of his wife. He
appeared before Wamunyu Law Court Resident Magistrate K. Kibellion. He
denied the charges and was sent to the Machakos GK remand until August
5. He was also denied bond until the same date when the court will rule
on the issue.