Man sets family ablaze, gulps rat poison

March 22, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 22 – A man locked his wife and child in the house and set it on fire following a dispute, before committing suicide in Gachie.

His wife and a two-year-old baby sustained serious injuries and were rushed to hospital where they were admitted.

The man is reported to have stabbed his wife and the child before locking them in the house and setting it ablaze.  He was infuriated after the wife refused to hand over Sh20,000 she had withdrawn from his account.

"We just heard a quarrel and the man was saying he will kill his wife if she does not give him his money, and before we could do much, we heard the woman and the child screaming," a neighbour John Kagwe said.

"That is when the man opened the door and started running away saying he had swallowed rat poison and he was sure he was dying, by that time he had already set his house on fire and we struggled to get the two out," Mr Kagwe added.

The man is reported to have died as he was being rushed to hospital.

"People tried to beat him up but there are others who rescued him and rushed him to hospital but we are told he has passed away," another witness said.

His wife and the baby were said to have been in a serious but stable condition and were due to be transported to the Kenyatta National Hospital for specialised treatment. They were being treated at a local clinic in Gachie.

Police said they arrived at the scene only to find the residents putting out the fire but nothing was salvaged.

When Capital News crew arrived at the scene, residents had converged in small groups deliberating the next cause of action while others were busy taking away scrap metal recovered from the rubble.

Most of those interviewed condemned the incident saying the man\’s actions were not justified.

"How could he stab his wife and child. Why did he set his house on fire just because of Sh20,000? Now he is dead will the money not help him," one resident Margret Muthoni said.

"It is a double tragedy, now the man is dead, his wife and child are admitted to hospital because of a man who cannot reason. Fighting has never been a solution to domestic issues," she added.

The fire spread to other neighbouring houses and destroyed some eight semi-permanent houses, leaving nearly 50 people homeless.

"My house has been reduced to ashes, I have not been left with anything. I don\’t know where to go but I am lucky because my children were out when the incident occurred," another resident said.

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