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Kenya

32-year-old Thome familicide perpetrator wanted to leave her family, relatives reveal 

Relatives of the deceased family members outside the house in Thome estate, Nairobi. Photo/JOSEPH MURAYA.

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – Inside their 10ft by 10ft single room in Thome area of Nairobi a blood-drenched mattress is still spread on what used to be their bed. Besides it is a baby cot for their 2-year-old baby.

Joyce Wanjiru, 32, hacked her husband David Gitau, 34 to death as he slept on the bed and thereafter strangled her two children aged 2 and 7.

She later committed suicide by hanging herself in the house.

Capital FM News established the woman had planned to leave her home over yet to be identified issues, ahead of the shocking incident on Tuesday.

Her clothes and a few other household items were still packed in the house when this writer went there to file the story.

We caught up with their relatives and friends, who are yet to come to terms with the incident that has left them begging for money to foot funeral expenses for an entire family of four.

Their family hails from Eldama Ravine in Baringo County, miles away from the City Mortuary, and thus the need for the financial appeal to raise transportation costs.

“Wanjiru was a friendly lady but was easily irritated. She had temper issues,” her sister-in-law, Mary Mwihaki, told Capital FM News on Wednesday.

“She must have been possessed by demons for her to do that. How do you even kill your own children?” she asked.

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Wanjiru’s husband, David Gitau, is a second born in a family of six, and although a gardener, he was supportive to his family according to Mwihaki.

“We have lost a brother and also a helper of our parents who are not financially stable,” she said with a faint voice, still recovering from a prolonged period of mourning.

Allan Ndungu who was late Gitau’s friend for years said he had known him of being “calm and a good person.”

Their house, which was temporarily given to them by their husband’s employer, is deep within the high-end, Thome estate in Nairobi.

-I don’t know what happened to my daughter-

Joseph Maina is a shaken father and doesn’t know what got into the mind of his second born daughter.

He admits the young couple had struggled with financial constraints for long, but that did not warrant the killings.

“This has really hurt me. I did not expect this will ever happen to me,” Maina said.

He too, is a casual labourer and his income is meagre “but I cannot kill my family for that. It is really sad.”

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Geoffrey Mugo, the Nyumba Kumi Chairperson in the area, said the couple had no known history of fighting.

“We can only give them a decent sendoff. We have no one to blame for this,” he said appealing for area legislator Waihenya Ndirangu and Nairobi Governor Sonko to assist the family.

There have been increased cases of family-related killings in the country, in what has been linked to depression, harsh economic times among other factors.

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