My in-laws duped me, says man whose wife killed three children

Festus Odhiambo, the father of three children who were killed by their step mother. He was speaking after visiting the remains of his children at Mbale Mortuary on March 12, 2018. [Denish Ochieng/ Standard]
The husband of the woman who killed her co-wife's three children has spoken about his frosty relations with her, and claims her family duped him into marrying her.

Festus Odhiambo claimed his in-laws lied to him so he could marry their "evil" daughter.

Mr Odhiambo married Jacinta Adhiambo, who killed the children on Sunday, in December 2016 as his second wife, six years after marrying Hellen Atieno.

He lived with Ms Adhiambo in Nairobi while Ms Atieno lived in their rural home in Masara, Vihiga County.

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He said five days after Adhiambo accepted his proposal, he went to her parents' home in Kendu Bay and informed them that he was interested in marrying their daughter.

“When I inquired more about her, they told me she was a good girl,” said Odhiambo.

Two children

But he discovered that she had two children and when he asked whether she had been married before, he was allegedly told: “Not at all. She had the children while she was in school.”

Odhiambo said he later discovered that Adhiambo had been married and separated in unclear circumstances.

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The two moved in together as Odhiambo began plans to formalise the marriage.

Odhiambo, who arrived in Masara from Nairobi yesterday, said his problems with Jacinta began last December, when she conceived.

“We had planned to come home for the Christmas holiday but she insisted that I take her for a pregnancy test, which was positive. She then insisted we should cancel the trip even after I had bought bus tickets,” said the mechanic.

He said he sought her parents' intervention when their differences worsened.

Family members who went to the mortuary to identify the bodies on Monday disowned Adhiambo's body, forcing morgue attendants to record it as unknown.

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“I cannot take that evil back to our home. Had she killed herself, we could have debated over what to do. We are ready to show our in-laws where the body is so they can collect it,” he said.

Odhiambo's family asked their in-laws to collect the body from the Mbale Hospital mortuary.

A delegation from the in-laws that visited his home to condole with the family yesterday was sent away. Odhiambo’s family released Adhiambo's child, whom he has been living with, into their care.

Clan elders said her actions portended a bad omen and her body was not welcome in the homestead.

Odhiambo’s father Enure Ogonda said Adhiambo’s house, where she killed the three children before taking her own life, would have to be demolished with all the property inside.

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House burnt

“To do away with the evil, the house should be burnt with everything inside it,” he said.

He said the family had resolved to send Adhiambo away after she attempted suicide a week ago. The delay in executing the decision had cost them three more lives, they said.

“When we informed her parents about the attempted suicide, they asked us not to send her away but allow them to come and meet with us and talk about the matter. Unfortunately, she did all this just a day before the scheduled meeting,” he said.

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