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Wife commits suicide over hubby’s SMS

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – A woman has committed suicide in Nairobi after a domestic quarrel over text messages that she reportedly found on her husband’s mobile phone.

Police said the middle-aged woman hanged herself after a bitter quarrel with her husband at their home in Shauri Moyo estate on Thursday night.

“The couple quarreled for quite a long time, before the woman committed suicide. They were quarreling over SMS’s she found on the husband’s phone,” a police officer said, quoting a neighbour.

Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi told Capital News that several witnesses, including the deceased woman’s husband, had recorded statements with the police.

Mr Kibuchi said police are now analysing the text messages on the man’s phone as part of the investigations “because it forms concrete basis of this case.”

“We investigate every single incident that is reported to us, in this particular case, we have received information that the woman committed suicide after a quarrel over messages she reportedly found in her husband’s inbox, that matter is under investigation,” Mr Kibuchi said.

Some of those who recorded statements told police the woman had been accusing her husband of unfaithfulness but police did not provide more details about the case.

Others told police they heard the woman demanding to know about senders of the messages in his phone before she hanged herself.

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Mr Kibuchi said the case is the first of its kind to be reported in Nairobi where SMS’s linked to unfaithfulness have led to a person committing suicide. Cases of couples accusing each other of unfaithfulness and ending up in the murder of either of them have been on the increase, particularly in Nairobi.

On average, at least one incident of domestic violence leading to death is reported in Nairobi weekly, according to police statistics.

Nairobi PPO Anthony Kibuchi says sometimes there are up to three such cases reported in a week most of which stem from domestic quarrels.

Dr Margaret Makanyengo, a Psychologist and Head of Mental Health Services at Kenyatta National Hospital says moral decay is one of the leading causes of these incidents.

"In the old days we had the African system which had its benefits where you had extended family where somebody always had a father or mother figure and there were rules and structures," Dr Makanyengo explains in an interview with Capital News.

"But currently most of that has actually broken down so that we are more individualistic and the priorities are quite different with people focusing more on making money and I am sorry to say even some of our religious leaders are now more focused on materialistic factors," she goes on to say.

Two weeks ago, a former NTV reporter Wambui Kabiru was allegedly murdered by her husband also a journalist – Moses Dola.

Dola is now in police custody where he was remanded after he was arraigned in court over the murder of his wife.

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