A Kenyan man has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for attempted murder after he chopped off his wife’s hands.
In what was described as the most atrocious cases of domestic violence, Stephen Ngila chopped off Ms Jackline Mwende’s hands with a machete in Machakos County on 25 July 2016, because she couldn’t conceive after seven years of marriage.
How it all happened
Relatives said the couple had been having issues and Mwende wanted to leave her husband but was advised against it by “their pastor”.
Mwende, who told the Nation in Kenya at her father’s Kathama home after she was discharged from the hospital said that before the attack, they had separated for about three months over failure to have children.
“I could not understand why he was blaming me yet we had gone to the hospital last year and the doctors had said he was the one with issues, which could be corrected,” she said.
Mwende said her husband, a tailor at Masii town, refused to follow up on treatment.
“He moved out of our house three months ago and came back on Sunday (24 July) at around 8.30 pm. When I opened the door, he said ‘today is your last day’ and started slashing me with the panga.”
Mwende called out for help but the man fled before neighbours arrived.
“They were all afraid of touching me, they thought I was dead. I was rushed to Machakos Hospital where I was given painkillers and got a blood transfusion. I was discharged on Friday.”
Shocked villagers described Mr Thenge is a very “polite man”. The man was arrested on Monday, 25 July in Machakos town hours after he fled his home in Masii.
Mwende’s jobless parents appealed for help to take care of their child.
Mr Samuel Munyoki said: “We want justice for our daughter. The person who did this should pay for it. She is now disabled and will need artificial hands to get her life together but we can’t afford anything. We are poor, we can’t even afford her painkillers.”
Mwende said she was leaving everything to God even as she expected justice from the courts.
Machakos women Representative, Dr Susan Musyoka condemned the violence and said justice must be done.
God finally answered the prayers of Mwende and her poor parents as justice have finally prevailed.
Ngila, now 39-year-old, was sentenced on Tuesday, 9 February after he was found guilty. He was however granted 14 days to appeal the ruling.
In her judgment, Machakos Law Court Justice, Brenda Bartoo said the court had taken note the accused was not remorseful for the offence he was convicted of.
“The court notes that the offence committed was grave, and the victim in the statement does not wish for any restitution,” she outlined while giving factors that informed the term.
“Therefore I proceed and sentence you for the offence of attempted murder contrary to section 220(A) of penal code,” she added in her judgement.