POISONED ORANGE

Three murders in hospital compound shock Gilgil

Three killings in 12 hours, counsellors say pandemic stress causes violence against women and children

In Summary

• The children - a two-year-old girl and four-year-old boy - lived with their grandmother. They allegedly were given a poisoned orange by a woman neighbour.

• The nurse was allegedly stabbed 13 times by her husband who had sought counselling from his pastor over her alleged infidelity.

 

Residents of Gilgil Subcounty Hospital staff quarters are grappling with three bizarre murders in 12 hours - two children were poisoned with a deadly orange and a nurse was stabbed to death.

The two children were allegedly killed by a woman neighbour who gave them a poisoned orange on Monday evening. She has been arrested. The motive was not known.

 

A nurse killed in the same staff quarters on Tuesday morning was stabbed 13 times, allegedly by her husband who surrendered to police.

 
 

The two incidents in half a day stunned neighbours. Counsellors and church leaders expressed alarm about increasing violence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gilgil OCPD John Onditi said a neighbour of the two children had been arrested.

“We have arrested a woman who was last seen with the two minors and from our investigations, it’s evident that they were killed through poisoning,” he said on Wednesday.

On the killing of the nurse identified as Josphine Kamau, the OCPD said the husband, said to be a devout Christian, had tried to commit suicide and was undergoing treatment.

Onditi said that the couple feuded and the man, who operated a bookshop in the Nyandarua area, stabbed his wife 13 times.

“After committing the act, the man tried to commit suicide but he was rescued and is undergoing treatment before been arraigned," he said.

 

A neighbour who declined to be named said that the man suspected that his wife was having an affair with one of his friends.

 
 

“The previous day he visited his pastor over the alleged affair and it seems he was not satisfied with the outcome as he ended up murdering wife with a kitchen knife," he said.

Counsellor Catherine Wanjohi said general violence and domestic violence had risen sharply across the country since Covid-19 was identified more than four months ago.

Wanjohi, the CEO of Lifebloom Services International, said women and children were most affected by the violence during the period of high stress.

“Due to ongoing pandemic that has seen people lose jobs, we have recorded violence targeting women and minors who are considered weak and vulnerable. The trend is worrying," she said.

Wanjohi said in Naivasha four children were killed by their mother while several women had been physically abused by their spouses. 

“In one month we have lost six minors in Naivasha and Gilgil, two women have been murdered in the same period while tens of others have been physically abused,” she said.

(Edited by V. Graham)