Butchered so young: Victims yet to find justice - Daily Nation

Families of victims of macabre killings still cling to hope

Saturday September 29 2018

Violence against women

They were all young and upwardly mobile but ended up as victims of macabre murder. PHOTOS | COURTESY 

By JACQUELINE KUBANIA
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Are you a modern woman in her mid to late 20s? Do you rub shoulders with the high and mighty and hobnob with celebrities?

Do you live what looks like a flashy lifestyle? Are you active on social media?

Do your updates create the impression that you have everything going for you and your life could not be in a better place?

If the answers to all these questions is yes, then you fit the profile that is at highest risk of being a victim of a crime of passion if recent trends are anything to go by.

PERPETRATORS

The gruesome killings of young women such as Sharon Otieno and Monica Nyawira in the last one month suggest that these are some of the attributes that the victims of recent crimes of passion share in common.

It appears that being young and upwardly mobile could put you at high risk of falling victim of a cold-blooded murder.

According to data from police, there were 2,774 homicides in 2017, a slight increase from the previous year.

In the same year, 1,213 men were reported to have committed murders compared to 222 women. Out of seven reported murders, six had been committed by men, and only one by a woman.

In 2014, the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey published some alarming statistics showing that 44 percent of women reported that they had experienced physical violence by men since turning 15.

The worst affected were women aged between 44 to 49 years.

VICTIMS

Even before the families could come to terms with the murder, another family in Kisii has been plunged into mourning after the killing of 17-year-old Alvin Moracha.

Her family believes that a jilted lover could be behind the killing of the KCSE candidate. Others are:

1. Ms Anne Wanjohi

The 23-year-old was killed by police constable Simon Njoroge Njau in Nairobi’s city centre in September last year after she refused to marry him. She was shot five times. The officer had known her for three months.

2. Ms Endinal Nyainda

The KU graduate was killed in July 2016 by her lover inside their rented apartment at Kahawa Wendani. Maxwell Otieno is believed to have stabbed her several times in the stomach after she threatened to leave him.

3. Monica Nyawira Kimani

The 28-year-old was killed last week in Kilimani, Nairobi. A suspect, Mr Joseph Kuria Irungu has been charged in court over the killing.

4. Sharon Otieno

The 26-year-old university student was killed earlier this month in Homa Bay. Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been charged over her death.

5. Janet Wangui

She was killed in May at City Park in a police shooting incident. Police fired 15 bullets into the car she was in with a nephew, one Bernard Chege, who survived.

CHRIS MSANDO

6. Lucy Njambi

She died in February after being forced to swallow acid that her attackers later doused her with.

7. Carol Ngumbi

She was found murdered alongside the then IEBC ICT official Chris Msando in July last year. They had been reported missing on July 28.

8. Diana Chumutai Rono

The popular musician was found dead in January 2016.

9. Careen Chepchumba

She was found dead in her apartment at Kilimani’s Santonia Court, Nairobi, on February 14, 2012. A former TV journalist, Mr Louis Otieno, has testified in her inquest.

10. Mercy Keino

The 25-year-old university student died in June 2011. Her body was found dumped on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi.

She had attended a party at Wasini Luxury Homes on Church Road, Westlands, about 100 metres from where her body was found. A governor has denied involvement in the case.

MARRIAGE

A closer look at the incidents of violence across different dynamics revealed some interesting trends.

For instance, the rate of violence towards married women or those cohabiting with their partners was at 47 percent, meaning that nearly half of married or cohabiting women have suffered physical violence from their partners.

The number of single women who experienced physical abuse was significantly lower at 31 percent.

Men are often the perpetrators of violence against women. The survey states that “among ever-married women, the most commonly reported perpetrator of physical violence is the current husband or partner (57 percent) followed by the former husband/partner (24 percent)."

CAREER

In some of the recent killings of young women, among those who have been charged are men, who were sexual partners.

In one case, that of Ms Sharon Otieno, detectives believe she was sexually assaulted before she was stabbed to death.

Sharon was pregnant at the time she met her death.

Counselling psychologist Josephine Abincha notes that the rate of violence towards women has increased as they (women) become more independent and grow in their careers.

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