Migori woman whose hand was chopped off by husband discharged

Migori woman whose hand was allegedly chopped off by her husband is finally out of hospital.

Maria Rioba was on Wednesday released from Ombo Mission Hospital by well-wishers, but she will not rejoin her family at Taranganya village in Kuria East due to fear for her life.

Maria Rioba Musa (Center) whose hand was chopped off by her husband leaves the hospital on 21 February 2018. [Caleb King'wara, Standard]
Maria had continued to live in the hospital two weeks after she was discharged, citing fear that the suspect who attacked her would repeat the act after multiple threats.

The husband, who allegedly committed the act using a machete on January 18, is yet to be arrested.

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When the Standard spoke to Rioba two weeks ago, she said she had received threats from her husband with warnings that she should not set foot home.

“Friends and relatives who have come to visit me in hospital have told me again and again that the suspect is boasting that he will not be arrested, and that should I go back home he will kill me as that was his mission,” said the mother of nine.

But on Wednesday, Universal Relief Foundation, a human rights organization led other like-minded organizations to find a new.

Rioba could afford a smile for the first time since she survived the attack which left her left hand chopped at the wrist, with the right hand left with a wound.

“I am happy that I am getting out of hospital, but I do not want to get back to that family again. I ask relevant authorities to intervene and serve me justice,” said Rioba.

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She was however skeptical about her safety, saying she will continue to battle the fear that the suspect would trail her or harm her children back hom.

Organization Director Tobias Ogola said they intervened to take the woman to a ‘safe’ place after media reports that she had declined to go home due to rejection from the husband’s family.

He confirmed footing the Sh50, 000 hospital bill and giving the victim Sh10, 000 for upkeep, but declined to disclose the location, saying the move was to protect her life.

“Our intervention is not enough but to make her start up a new life. Relevant authorities and other well-wishers need to come out and help,” said Ogola.

With five of Rioba’s adult children having moved out of their home, two of the remaining four have since escaped to their relatives for fear of attack, while the remaining two have had to remain home so as to attend school.

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Ogola said the lives of the remaining children were also in danger after they were threatened against their closeness with their mother.

 “We got information that the family was even frustrating her children who rescued her, and were even planning to poison the children who are main witnesses in the case so as to ensure this case does not proceed,” said Ogola.

He said Kuria region of Migori County has been highlighted as facing gender based violence crisis, with most suspects escaping to Tanzania after committing such acts.

He however accused police and area leadership for failing to come out strongly so as to ensure that Rioba was served justice.

Ombo Hospital management however pledged to continue offer medical follow ups to help restore Maria’s health.

 “We thank God that she is able to recover, but she will remain to be dependent because she has been disabledand cannot fend for her children,” said Gladys Nyabvoke, the head nurse at the Hospital.

Ms Nyaboke however called upon the organization to trace the many gender based cases reported in the area, situations she said were threatening many families.

“As Maria leaves hospital, she may be healed physically, but psychologically she requires a lot of support to enable her come back to her normal life,” she added.

County Police Commander Joseph Nthenge Thursday confirmed that the suspect was still at large, but said police were doing their best to apprehend him.

“We have been laying our traps and we will catch up with him. There are claims that he could have crossed to Tanzania, and we are doing our best to get him and let him face the law,” said Nthenge.

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Domestic violencehandicapMaria Rioba