Man who burnt wife five months ago after quarrel over phone message still at large

Wednesday January 20 2016

Ms Dorcas Awinja recuperates at the Nairobi

Ms Dorcas Awinja recuperates at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Nakuru on January 19, 2016. Her husband burnt her using paraffin in Luanda, Vihiga County in September 2015 after she questioned his fidelity. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Police are yet to arrest a man, identified as Paul Alubale, who set his wife ablaze in Vihiga in September 2015 following a disagreement over a text message sent to him by another woman.

Ms Dorcas Awinja is now recuperating at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Nakuru where she was recently transferred to, five months after suffering serious burns on her body.

Ms Awinja was set ablaze by her husband after she accused him of cheating on her.

She said her husband came home on the fateful evening and as they were having dinner, his phone rang twice but he did not pick the call.

After that a message was sent to him and on checking she realised that the sender was her sister in-law (her brother’s wife) who was living in a nearby estate.

“We were having dinner and his phone rang twice and he refused to pick, then a message dropped in his phone. He did not hide the phone from me and I read the message.

“At first, he lied that it was one of his male friends, then I realised the phone number belonged to my brother’s wife and according to the message, they had been having an affair,” said Ms Awinja.

Speaking from her hospital bed, Ms Awinja said when she asked him what was going on between them, her husband, Mr Paul Alubala became angry and went to bed early.


When she got to their bedroom her husband, who by then was pretending to be asleep, threw kerosene on her body but she thought he could not harm her.

“I told him to stop wasting the kerosene that we use for lighting because he was angered as I did not have money to buy more. He immediately took a matchbox, lit it and threw it to me.

“I was wearing a silk dress so it caught fire easily. I ran out of the room because I did not want to burn my children who were sleeping in the house,” she recalls.

She fell in to a basin of water that was outside and raised the alarm which attracted her neighbours.

On arriving at the scene, her husband was still in the house and they forced him to come out.

“They forced him to take me to a nearby hospital.

“On arriving he said he was going away to get money to pay the admission fee but instead called my father and told him that I had tried to commit suicide,” Ms Awinja narrated.

Ms Awinja said since her admission to the Coptic Hospital in Luanda, she has not seen or heard from him again.


At the beginning of January 2016, Ms Awinja was transferred to Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Nakuru as she was unable to pay the accumulating hospital bill.

She said that although she had reported the matter to the police, little is known about the assailant’s whereabouts.

Ms Awinja who had been living with her husband in Luanda, Vihiga County, said this was the second time her husband had attacked her.

“In 2004, he attacked me with a machete and I suffered a deep cut on my face,” said Ms Awinja showing a scar on her forehead.

According to Ms Angela Gwaro of the Gender Recovery Centre in Nakuru, when she was admitted, she was operated on the parts seriously affected by the burns.

She is currently undergoing psychosocial support and counselling therapy to help her emotionally.

“She suffered 63 to 70 per cent burns which have mostly affected the face legs, hands and chest,” said Ms Gwaro.

Ms Gwaro said Ms Awinja said would be out of hospital soon as the wounds were manageable.