A family’s quest to find those behind the rape and murder of a woman in Kisauni, Mombasa, took a near-tragic twist when three were hospitalised on Wednesday after taking a witch-doctor’s concoction.
The woman’s estranged husband and his two brothers - were among the close to 40 family members who took the ‘magic’ drink meant to help unravel the mystery behind the murder of Ms Margaret Chepkwony, 51.
The deceased’s family resolved to seek the Mombasa-based witch-doctor’s help after ruling out possibilities that her rape and murder on Tuesday last week, were a normal robbery incident.
Mr Joseph Chepkwony, the deceased’s husband, who is recovering at Jocham Hospital denied involvement in his wife’s death and accused the witch-doctor of giving him a poisonous drink different from what the others took.
“I did not kill my wife. I loved her so much. We have been married for 25 years and I have been supporting our children in spite of our separation,” he told the Nation.
He accused his in-laws of attempting to kill him with the concoction after he insisted he would bury her at their Nakuru matrimonial home contrary to their intention to inter her remains at her parents’ home in Kitale.
With him also hospitalised were his brothers Simeon Kirui and Sylvester Kirui.
Mr Chepkwony said the different concoction brought about the subsequent effects.
Find the culprits
He added that he agreed to take the concoction after suspicions that he was involved in the murder and also as a personal resort to find the culprits.
“My brothers and I we were called to a room where a man whom I thought was a religious man did strange things. He mashed some greens into a paste and mixed them with water and gave us to drink. After about an hour, I started feeling dizzy then I started trembling like someone who had taken liquor.”
At this point, he heard the relatives who were gathered celebrating. He became unconscious and only came to in the hospital.
Dr Philip Kisia, of Jocham Hospital said that they treated the three for poisoning after medical tests revealed reactions to the concoction.
He added that samples of the concoction were submitted to the government chemist for analysis.
Mr Chepkwony urged the police to investigate the murder of his wife and the actions of the witch-doctor.
However, relatives who talked to the Nation at the family’s home in Kiembeni discounted Mr Chepkwony’s account and said they all took the same concoction.
According to the kin, Mr Chepkwony and his brothers were the only people who developed strange symptoms.
“We all decided as a family to seek the assistance of a medicine man to investigate the murder of our mother after suspicions that she was killed by a relative and it’s not just another robbery incident,” a daughter to the deceased said.
Mrs Elizabeth Ndiwa, the deceased’s mother, said that her late daughter and her husband had marital problems for three years that ended up in separation.