Husband hacks off wife’s hands after saying she failed to have children
NAIROBI, Kenya — A Kenyan woman’s hands were butchered and she was left with injuries to her head after she was brutally attacked by her husband, who blamed her for not being able to conceive any children during their seven-year marriage.
Jackline Mwende’s husband, Stephen Ngila, allegedly attacked her in their home with a machete on July 23, which also left her deaf in one ear. Her father told CNN that Ngila “threatened to shut her mouth for good before attacking her with a machete.”
Police and members of the community began looking for Ngila the night the attack took place. He was arrested the following day after appearing at the hospital where Mwende was being treated.
Husband, not wife, had reproductive issues
While Ngila allegedly attacked her because they weren’t able to have children, a hospital in Nairobi said Mwende was fertile and it was her husband who had reproductive issues, Daily Nation reported.
Kenyan member of parliament Joyce Wanjala Lay told CNN: “It is really sad that something of this nature would happen in this time and age.
“Having a child is a shared responsibility. A woman without a child is still a woman and even more stronger,” she said.
Lay tells CNN that she has been at the forefront of the campaign against gender-based violence after she became the first member of parliament to say that she had been assaulted by a fellow legislator.
Incident sparks public outrage
Mwende is recovering from her injuries at her mother’s home in Machakos county — 64 miles from the capital, Nairobi, where women’s rights representatives have visited her.
The Bangladeshi embassy in Kenya has promised to provide Mwende with medication for at least three months, while Lay says she and other activists have offered to provide her with prosthetic limbs, a $250 allowance per month, transport to therapy and business skills to help prepare her for life after recovery.
The attack has been condemned by politicians, activists and citizens across Kenya.
One activist, Irungu Houghton, said: “I know we are better than this depraved sexist violence. Shocked. A society that can’t keep all safe means no one is safe.”
While senator Janet Ong’era tweeted: “I wish Jackline Mwende quick recovery & call upon gender-based violence activists to support the creation of Mwende Fund to help her get prosthetic limbs.”
The husband is due to appear in court on August 5.