A scuffle between a couple in Etago, Kisii County nearly turned tragic Tuesday afternoon after a man chopped off his estranged wife's hand.
Masagege residents said Evans Nyakenyansa had pursued Ms Edna Kemuma, 25, to her parents’ home, where she had sought refuge following a fight, and cruelly chopped off her left hand.
She also suffered injuries on her shoulder, stomach and chest during the attack.
Ms Kemuma said she had received a phone call Monday evening from her estranged husband regarding a planned visit.
But the man turned up at 7.30pm armed with a panga which he used to hack her, leaving her for the dead, before he fled into the dark.
“He came at 7.30 on Monday night and knocked on our door but no sooner had I opened than he descended on me cutting my hand and stomach. I was to die,” Ms Kemuma told the Nation from her hospital bed.
A teary Ms Kemuma said she had been married for more than five years only for the marriage to fail “due to incidents of infidelity”.
She said her husband, a worker in sugarcane farm, begun sneaking out in the night to meet another woman and when she complained, he began beating her.
OBJECTED TO BEHAVIOUR
“He had begun waking up and leaving the house a few hours after we had retired to bed. When I objected to his behaviour, he begun unleashing terror on me. I could not bear it anymore and so I left,” added Ms Kemuma.
The mother of one narrated how, before the Monday evening incident, she had returned from the market where she had gone to buy vegetables, only to be brutally attacked by her estranged husband.
The man also took away her cell phone before he fled on foot, the woman told the Nation from Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
A villager recalled how the attacker was seen buying a panga at Etago market, had it sharpened before he proceeded to do the heinous act.
“He was seen purchasing a panga at the market only to be heard later that he had gone with it to his wife’s home,” said Tom Ngoge.
Mr Erustus Ogembo, the woman’s uncle, said differences between the couple had been simmering for close to six years.
On Wednesday morning, Ms Kemuma was receiving treatment at the Kisii Referral Hospital where relatives rushed her.
County Health boss, Dr Geofrey Otomu, said the woman is responding well to treatment and that she may be discharged in the coming days.
"We have already stitched the affected limb and the blood which was oozing has now stopped. Generally, she is out of danger," said Dr Otomu.
Security agencies in the county say they have launched a manhunt for the suspect.
"We have already begun hunting him down and he will be arraigned in court [as soon as] he is seized," Kisii County Police Commander Abdi Hassan told the Nation.
A recent report on gender-based violence cites Kisii among counties with the highest such cases.
Other counties where such cases have been reported include Meru, Nakuru, Nyeri, Machakos, Kiambu, Busia, Samburu and Nairobi.
Hitting, battery and beatings are the most prevalent forms of violence and mostly occur in Mombasa, at 97.8 percent.
High percentages have also been recorded in Machakos (95.2), Samburu (95.2), Kisii (92.9), Meru (88.0), Busia (82.7), Nairobi (75.5), Nyeri (71.4) Kilifi (66.7) and Migori (64.6).
Regarding rape, Kilifi was at the top with 97.9 percent, followed by Kisii (85.7), Machakos (71.4), Mombasa (66.7), Nairobi (64.9) and Nakuru (50.8).
Deaths as a result of gender violence were highest in Machakos at 34.9 percent followed by Nakuru (15.2), Nyeri (9.5) Machakos (6.0), Busia (3.8), Kiambu (3.1) and Nairobi (1.1).
In Kisii, battery of women is prevalent in Bonchari, South Mugirango and Nyaribari Chache sub-counties, according to Esnas Nyaramba, a gender activist.