A 38 year old mother of seven from Mau Narok is nursing severe injuries at Rift Valley Province General Hospital after her husband brutally assaulted her, gorging out her eyes over Sh130.
Serah Wairimu, who has been undergoing treatment at the hospital for almost two months suffered severe head injuries, burns on her private parts, cuts on her neck and hands and one of her eyes gorged out.
The early morning domestic fight on July 6 at the couple’s home in Jua Kali village over Sh130 has rendered the woman totally blind with a partially damaged eardrum resulting from the beatings.
Wairimu says her husband of 22 years Paul Ngugi, assaulted her when she could not account for a balance of Sh130.
“He told me he had given Sh500 to the children and who were to return a balance of Sh130. I was however not aware because I was at work but when I could not account for the money he took boiling water and poured on me before taking out a knife to stab me. He had locked the house and I could not escaped until the children heard the commotion and started screaming for help,” Wairimu said.
One of the eyes was totally gorged out, while the other sustained deep cuts that caused retinal detachment, a situation that has rendered her totally blind.
“I still cannot understand why he did all these to me, we have been married for 22 years and although we have been having challenges, he has been very abusive and has even refuse to support us. I work so hard to feed the family and he still has the guts to do all these to me,” she said.
Wairimu, works as a casual laborer in Mau Narok where she is contracted by farmers to wash, package and load carrots in to awaiting Lorries. Her husband, is also a casual laborer.
She said she became unconscious, two weeks later she found herself in the hospital where she has been confined for almost two months with the bill rising to over Sh50,000.
“I am still in a dark world, I cannot see a thing, I strain to hear, may be as a result. I still cannot walk although the wounds are almost healed. Part of my face is still numb and cannot feel a thing and my chest still aches,” Wairimu said.
Her husband, Ngugi, was arrested and charged with assault in a Nakuru court on July 7. He was however released on bond. Wairimu, however fears for her life and that of her children saying her husband is still a dangerous man and might turn against them.
“This was a grievous bodily harm and I feel he should not have been released out on bond. He is a dangerous man and might turn and kill me when I get back home. My children and I are not safe at all, all I want is justice,” she says.
Beatrice Wanja, a relative said the couple have been having a strenuous relationship over the past years and although the cases have been resolved, she said the cases became severe this year.
“It was just last February when Wairimu was strangled by her husband almost to death. They however resolved their issues but on the day he attacked her last month, she was left in a really bad state and never thought she could make it. She has been the sole breadwinner and with her current situation, things might be worse because it means she can no longer be able to provide for her young children,” Wanja said.
The nurse at the facility said chances of restoring Wairimu’s eyesight are very minimal and could end up being totally blind since her left remaining eye is detached.
“The patient was brought in with severe injuries on her head, one of the eyeballs was out while the other eye had deep cuts, she had sustained burns from boiling water on her private parts, she also had cuts on her throat and fingers,” Teresiah Wangare, a nurse at the facility said.
Ms Wangare added that although specialists have tried to restore her sight, there was ‘very little’ hope.
“We did all we could to save the remaining left eye but she had a retinal detachment resulting from the deep cut,” she added
Wairimu has however been discharged but has a bill of over 50,000 to settle.
Cases of gender-based violence in Mau Narok, according to John Nene, a resident, are on the increase where women bear the brunt.
At Nakuru level five hospital, 4 cases of assault have been reported and treated in August alone.
“These cases are on and off, this month alone, four patients who have been assaulted, especially with fingers chopped, have been reported,” Ms Wangare said.