, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 2 – At the foot of Uuni Hill in Kathama village in Machakos County, a family has been deprived of happiness by a horrid assault against one of their daughters.
The fourth born of the family had both hands chopped off by her husband, the love of her life for seven good years.
It is this man that 27 year-old Jackline Mwende Ngila wants jailed for life, “for being heartless and wanting to kill me despite my love for him.”
“If someone can do this to me, does he care or love me at all?” a teary Ngila wondered Monday when the Capital FM News crew visited her maternal home.
Mwende painted a picture of pain, desperation and anger.
She is now back “home” a place she left the day they both received blessings of marriage from her elderly parents, to go start her own family.
The blessings were crowned by a church wedding where Mwende and 34 year-old Stephen Ngila were joined as husband and wife.
But when did their challenges start?
Children are said to be God’s blessings in every family, an important unit the Ngila’s were missing but were hopeful that someday, just like the biblical Sarah, who gave birth to her son Isaac at the age of 100 years, “we would have our own children.”
After four years of waiting, the couple sought medical attention at a Nairobi hospital and it is at that point that it was established that Ngila had difficulty siring children.
“The doctor however said they would try to rectify his condition and assigned him medical visits which he never honoured,” a visibly distraught Mwende narrates.
Ngila, she says, lived in denial.
After that, the husband, she knew to be a born-again Christian, went back “to darkness” and started, “drinking alcohol, chewing miraa and smoking.”
This was just the beginning of a long and a painful journey, with a man who now knew he had a health condition barring him from having kids.
“He even started unusual quarrels and coming home or not showing up at all,” Mwende said of her husband, a tailor based in Masii town within the expansive Machakos County.
Mwende says he has been living alone for a year in their two bedroom brick house, which they built from hard earned savings.
“We bought a plot and built a house which all along…” she poses, attempts to wipe her watery eyes with her left elbow and continues: “We wanted to see our children play in the compound; have a family that would give us the true meaning of life and our hard work.”
But it however became apparent on July 25 that, “all my dreams were just that.”
On the fateful day, her husband who was now a ‘visitor’ at their home left at about 6pm boarding his motorbike, parked at a neighbour’s house and left.
At 8.30pm, Ngila came back and vigorously kicked the iron door of their house without uttering a word.
“I wondered who was at the door …you see I was not expecting him,” a teary Mwende explained.
When she later opened the door, the husband uttered words that “I will never forget in my life.”
“Utter your last words,” an infuriated Ngila told his wife.
At this time, a scared Mwende would only ask him, “My husband, you really want to kill me?”
After that, Mwende says the man, currently in police custody went ahead to chop off her right hand, then the left and inflicted deep cuts on her head using a machete.
“I screamed and started calling for help from my neighbours,” she said, though “he had already fled to an unknown place.”
Mwende, who was seated under a shade didn’t hide the pain in her heart and “wants the government to stay with that man forever. If it is true there are laws, let them stay with him. He needs to be squeezed or …”
It is a man whom she first met as soon as she finished her 8.4.4 system as her tailoring teacher before they fell in love and got married.
“I loved him so much,” despite her pain, Mwende still admits her feelings towards Ngila.
Her 57-year old father Samuel Munyoki wants justice for his daughter whom, “I gave out when she was healthy and energetic. It is painful.”
He wonders, “If Ngila never wanted my daughter, why did he not return her?”
It is the pain of a mother; Jane Munyoki that had her to wish her son in-law is “punished to death. I don’t want to see him ever again.”
“He has destroyed the future of my daughter who is still young,” Munyoki, who spoke in Kamba said.
Her advice to married couples, “don’t stay with a partner who doesn’t want you.”
She had asked her daughter to divorce her troublesome husband but “due to the vows she made in church, to live with him till death, she declined my appeals.”