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Police arrest Busia man who bit off wife's lip over vegetables

Tuesday July 16 2019

Busia woman with lip bitten off

Jackline Kerubo displays her wounded lower lip following an assault by her husband Pascal Omusungu, who bit it off, at their home at St Mary’s in Nambale, Busia County, July 16, 2019. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GAITANO PESSA
By GAITANO PESSA
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Police in Nambale, Busia County, on Tuesday arrested the man who bit off his wife’s lower lip and left ear following a quarrel over vegetables.

Pascal Omusungu, 51, was apprehended for assaulting 39-year-old Jackline Kerubo on Sunday.

Mr Omusungu went into hiding immediately after committing the crime at around 11pm.

THE ARREST

Nambale Sub-county Police Commander Robert Ndambiri said the man was arrested at St Mary's while harvesting sugarcane with other people.

“We are holding the suspect at the Nambale Police Station cells. He will be taken to Busia court tomorrow (Wednesday)," Mr Ndambiri told journalists.

Mr Kerubo was to record a statement at the Nambale station on Tuesday afternoon alongside three witnesses who will accompany her to the Busia court to testify.

“The victim was  reluctant to record a statement fearing that the husband might be jailed when he appears in court but she eventually did after being convinced to,” the police commander said.

WHAT HAPPENED

Ms Kerubo said her husband scolded her because she gave vegetables to her neighbour.

“After he realised that I had [done that], he followed me to the house and started throwing blows at me. I fell down and became unconscious," she said.

"He took advantage of my state and bit off my lower lip and left ear."

RESCUE

The woman said her eight-year-old son rescued her by hitting the man with a spade as he strangled her.

Good Samaritans took Ms Kerubo to Nambale Health Centre where she was admitted.

Mr Ndambiri said, however, that she will have permanent scars on the mouth and ear as doctors were unable to stitch the parts that were bitten off.

The incident caused furore, with many demanding action against Mr Omusungu.

"We want legal action taken so that the woman gets justice," said Evelyne Achieng, a trader at Busia market.

MANY CASES

The incident took place just a day after rights defenders expressed concern over an surge of cases of gender-based violence in the Busia.

Speaking during a parents’ sensitisation forum in Ang’orom, Teso South Sub-county on Monday, Kenya Works Coordinator Carolyne Wanjiru said that despite efforts by the government and non-governmental organisations to tame the vice, more cases were being reported in the region.

Ms Wanjiru said the battering of women accounted for 82.7 per cent of the cases reported in Busia.

Other formed of GBV include verbal abuse (67.3 per cent), domestic conflicts (61.5 per cent), rape (13.2 per cent), economic abuse (64.5 per cent), psychological humiliation (9.8 per cent), deprivation of resources such as land/ swindling windows out of their property (7.7 per cent), early marriage (22.2 per cent), defilement (1.9 per cent), forced marriage (21.2 per cent) and sexual assault (5.8 per cent).

“These are worrisome figures that [show the pain] children, women and, to an extent, men in this county are exposed to," Ms Wanjiru said.

She noted that among the 47 counties, Busia leads in economic violence and is fourth in early marriages after Samburu (76.2 per cent), Migori (69.5 per cent) and Kilifi (60.4 per cent).