Activists demand justice after Kenyan hacks off wife's hands in attack

By REUTERS
August 2, 2016 15:54
1 minute read.

 
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DAKAR - A Kenyan man who chopped off his wife's hands with a machete because she had not conceived a child must face the full force of the law to deter other perpetrators of widespread domestic violence in Kenya, women's rights activists said on Tuesday.

Stephen Ngila from Machakos County in southern Kenya, was yesterday arrested and charged with attempted murder, after attacking his wife, Jackline Mwende, almost two weeks ago, according to the women's rights organization Equality Now.

"This is a particularly shocking case for Kenya ... even though domestic violence is rampant," Naitore Nyamu of Equality Now told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Nairobi.

Ngila cut off his wife's hands and hacked her head with a machete after a dispute about the fact that she had not fallen pregnant in seven years of marriage, local media said.

The 34-year-old told Mwende, 27, 'today is your last day' before attacking her, said the Daily Nation newspaper, which published a video of the victim with a deep gash on her head, and stumps where her hands once were, wrapped in bandages.

Mwende said she was surprised by the attack, as doctors told the couple that she was fertile, while Ngila was impotent.

Kenya last year passed a domestic violence law, which had been pending since 2002, which criminalized a range of offenses from verbal abuse and intimidation to assault and rape.

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