NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Like a scripted series, cases of homicide have flooded Kenyan news lately – they only differ on who the victims are and how they are executed.
It is either an estranged lover killing a partner or a wife turning against her husband or vice versa – call them deaths in the name of love.
One may wonder, what exactly is love at this rate?
A compilation of the latest deaths paints a worrying trend of a disgruntled lot, impatient in resolving even the most trivial of disagreements.
To them, killing seems the only answer to their problems.
Tens of such deaths have been recorded across the country, and even before detectives can resolve one, another happens.
On social media, Kenyans are torn between condemnation while another group is on a justification spree.
Others are busy creating memes from the incidents. None seems to know the cause or the solution.
“We are investigating and once done, the culprits will be brought to book,” a statement from detectives that has become synonymous, every such an incident happens.
But there is a silent group, who have undergone through the pain of losing a loved one.
-Five Deaths in a week-
In the last seven days, at least five incidents where young women have had their lives cut short through gender-based violence have been documented according to Faiza Mohamed, the Director Africa Office, Equality Now.
“This speaks of a dire situation given that many other cases are undocumented,” Mohamed told Capital FM News.
Although domestic and intimate partner violence has been acknowledged worldwide as a violation of basic human rights, Mohamed says, ” women and girls continue to bear the brunt and are disproportionately affected.”
According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2014) five percent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence.
“The main perpetrators of physical violence against women were husbands,” she said.
About 4 in 10 every-married women (39pc) have experienced physical and/or sexual violence and slightly less than half (47pc) have experienced at least one of the three forms of spousal violence.
“Considering that there is a culture of silence and victim shaming even after death has occurred, where women are blamed for these acts of brutality by their partners, some women and girls do not report these abuses,” Mohamed pointed out.
“This therefore makes it difficult to know of the exact number of women who have been maimed or killed by their partners.”
-Worrying case studies-
Though not the most recent case, despite having happened just a week ago, the gruesome killing of Ivy Wangechi has sent a chilling message to the authorities and Kenyans that all is not well.
Wangechi was pursuing medicine at Moi University.
In broad daylight, Wangechi was hacked to death by a male friend for the simple reason that he was “heartbroken.”
Naftali Kinuthia travelled from Thika to Eldoret, more than 300 kilometres to commit the heinous act.
A court has since allowed police to hold him for two weeks before he takes a plea.
On Monday, a 24-year-old woman died after she was stabbed using a knife by her ex-boyfriend in Nyeri County.
The resentful man killed Mary Wangui, a mother of two at her rental house in Nyaribo area, within the County.
Just five days ago, a woman and her two sons were arrested in Makueni for killing a 70 old granny and her son.
The granny and her son were hacked to death while ploughing their farm.
In Machakos County, a 30-year-old man strangled to death his son after a quarrel with his wife on January 26.
He then committed suicide.
In Kitui County, a man hacked to death his 34-year-old wife and two children- son 14, and his 3-year-old daughter on January 14.
In Machakos, Makueni and Machakos County, there have been more than 10 cases of killings following family dispute since January to date.
In 2017 for example, there were 2,774 cases of homicide.
In the same year, police recorded 1, 213 cases where men had committed murder against 222 women perpetrators.
Though police are yet to release 2018 statistics, thousands of lives were lost in the hands of people close to the victims.
Some of the high-profile murder was that of Monica Kimani, the lady whose body was found inside a bathtub in her Kilimani apartment, with her throat slit on September 19.
The other one was that Sharon Otieno, the 7-month pregnant Rongo University student in Migori County.
Otieno, who was a girlfriend to Migori Governor Okoth Obado.
Both cases are active in court, but the mystery in their killing remains to date, months after it happened.
-Kenyans listed happiest in East Africa-
According to the latest World Happiness Report by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Kenyans are the happiest in the East Africa region.
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.
In 2019, the World Happiness Report focused on happiness and the community: how happiness has evolved over the past dozen years, with a focus on the technologies, social norms, conflicts and government policies that have driven those changes.
Kenya is ranked position 121 globally, out of the 156 countries surveyed. South Sudan scored the list across the world at position 156.
“We and others have found that the effects of happiness equality are often larger and more systematic than those of income inequality. For example, social trust, often found to be lower where income inequality is greater, is even more closely connected to the inequality of subjective well-being,” reads a section of the report.
According to the report, Finland has topped the world in the happiness chart for two years-2018 and 2019.