A shocked nine-year-old boy cried uncontrollably on seeing the motionless bodies of his parents sprawled in their rented single-roomed house on Tuesday.
The boy’s 30-year-old father is said to have slit his wife’s throat before hanging himself with a nylon string from the grills of the window.
The incident left neighbours and onlookers in the high-rise residential building in Nairobi’s Pipeline Estate astounded.
But it is the class three boy who will be traumatised for a long time. The evidence was written on his distraught face, as he wailed, with neighbours desperately trying to calm him down, several hours after the horror killing and suicide.
Residents said they were led to the scene by the boy’s loud cries which attracted neighbours who entered the room to find the body of Ms Roselyne Mwende, 30, and that of her husband of one-and-a-half years, Mr Kyalo Kasese.
Police recovered a blood-stained kitchen knife believed to have been used to slit the woman’s throat and inflict a deep stab wound on her chest.
Her half naked body lay on the bed face downwards, concealing a deep cut around the neck. The bedding were blood soaked.
Crying and wailing
Neighbour Ephantus Gicheru said the boy emerged out of their unit at around 6am, and kept running around the verandah yelling at the top of his voice, attracting neighbours who entered their room seeking to know the cause of the boy’s agony.
“He came out of the room and ran several times on the verandah crying and wailing but did not utter a word,” he said.
The previous night, Mr Kasese, a jua kali artisan, attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the building’s seventh floor, but landed on a water tank on the ground floor, sparing what could have been a fatal jump.
Neighbours said he quickly picked himself up and ran up the stairs to his house, where he locked himself.
“It was around 11pm and there were some women fetching water outside when they heard a loud bang. We later saw a man dressed in shorts running up the stairs,” said another neighbour.
Wanted to leave
Roselyne’s brother Mwema Mbelete said the couple often argued, and that his sister had called him on two occasions saying she was fed up and wanted to leave.
On both occasions, Mr Mbelete tried to intervene, but the issues always came back, sometimes resulting to violence. “My sister complained that her husband had neglected his responsibilities and was no longer paying school fees and rent,” he said.
Neighbours described Mr Kasese as a quiet man, who could not be drawn into conversations although he was a habitual drunk. The couple was rarely seen around the residence as they left early and returned late in the evening. The woman had a grocery shop.
Mr Kasese’s father, Mr Peter Mutiso, described his son as a peaceful man, saying he had never had a disagreement with him. “I visited the couple a week earlier and there were no signs of tension. My son was a peaceful person,” he said, unable to hide his shock.