To the women of Kabuta village in Murang’a County, a barmaid is an enemy who snatches their husbands from them and makes them spend cash on her. But to men of the village in Kiharu Constituency, she is a woman who treats them well and is always available for them.
On Monday night, there was a confrontation as the agitated women invaded a bar in the village to flush our the barmaid, but the men surrounded it and prevented their wives from attacking her.
The women who turned out in large numbers stormed the Kuku Base bar where they accused the woman of preying on their husbands.
Their husbands, the women claim, toil the whole day only for the barmaid to enjoy the hard-earned sweat from their casual labour instead of the men taking care of their families.
According to the women, their decision to flush out the woman was arrived at after a lengthy meeting.
"It's our husbands who brag how beautiful the woman is, but we want her to show us what she does to attract our men or she goes back to where she came from. She has contributed to our men neglecting their marital responsibilities," Ms Mary Wanjiku, one of the women who camped at the bar, said.
Another woman, Ms Beatrice Nyawira, said her husband comes home late in the night and sometimes does not come home at all, leaving her with the task of taking care their three children alone.
"She is a thorn in the flesh in many villages here. A time has come for her to leave us with our husbands to continue with the life the way we have been living," She said.
The women claimed two men had committed suicide after they were left by the woman while others have sold livestock to sustain her, vowing to do all they can to kick her out of the village.
But their efforts to flush out the young woman were thwarted by their husbands who blocked them from accessing the bar, accusing the women of unfairly targeting the barmaid.
The men said she is understanding, accommodating and neater than them.
John Kariuki, one of the men who stopped the women from entering the bar, said the young woman is always grateful for anything a man gives her as a tip or for any service she offers, unlike their wives who keep demanding for more money each time.
He added that the woman “also smells good and applies make up and cologne, making her smell good throughout the day”.
"If my wife has issues, let her not attack that lady but let her ask me why I choose the lady over her. The bar woman has a good heart and knows how to handle and satisfy me," Mr Kairuki told the Nation when asked why he neglects his duties as a husband.
The standoff continued until Kimathi Chief Mary Wambui intervened.
The chief ordered the woman out of the village for calm and normalcy to be restored.
She said following the incident, she summoned the owner of the bar where the lady lives and works as a barmaid and asked him to fire her.
"I have given the bar owner three days to fire the woman and I have received the news that she is no longer an employee of the said bar. Women have been complaining about her but we hope peace and calm will return," she told the Nation.
But speaking to the Nation, the woman said she has never snatched a husband from anyone, adding that she attracts them because of her good nature.
She said it was unfortunate for women to flush her out instead of seeking advice from her on how to attract men.
"My fellow women should look for ways to keep their men to them despite the harsh economic times instead of trying to fight for their men who are not children.
"It's sad that I have run for my life while I'm innocent but the men are still calling me promising their support for me," the woman said.
She added that bathing regularly, brushing her teeth and being polite to men was her secret of attracting them, urging the other women to imitate her instead of hating her.
The chief told the Nation that this was the second such incident in four years.
"Women should reduce the demands and comfort their men even at times of hardships so that they don't get attracted to other women," she said.