Unenforced court decision leaves woman who lost limbs in domestic violence languish in poverty

Judith Muendi at a stall in Emali, on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. [Photo: Stephen Nzioka/Standard]
Judith Muendi is still trying to pick up the pieces of her life three years after her husband cut off her hands and leg in Makueni County.

Muendi has tried to move on after the perpetrator, Reuben Kivuva alias Cameroon, was sentenced to life imprisonment, but delay in implementing a court ruling has been an impediment.

A Makindu court last December ordered that the jailed man’s assets be handed to her. However, nine months later, this has not been done.

While jailing the man, Resident Magistrate Gerald Mutiso said: “I have considered the accused’s mitigation that he is a father of three children, a husband of an epileptic wife and a son of a diabetic mother.

“I have also considered the victim’s impact report, which indicates that the victim (complainant) is now totally dependent on her mother to wash her, dress her and cook for her.

“The violence meted out by you, the accused, upon a helpless woman in cold blood is mind-boggling.”

Life changed                                                       

When we caught up with Muendi at her stall at Emali on the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, where she sells farm produce, she narrated how her life had changed after the attack.

“The court had directed that my husband’s properties be confiscated and handed to me, but this has not happened. I don’t know the procedure. I went back to court at the beginning of the year and a clerk told me I would be contacted,” said Muendi.

She has not heard from the court again.

She said before the attack she used to make up to Sh10, 000 daily from her business, but she now barely makes Sh1, 000.

Muendi attributes the low of sales to her current physical state.

“I can’t compete with other traders because this jobs needs you to be on your feet all the time. You need to go after customers, most of whom are motorists. I just sit here waiting for anyone to to sympathise with me,” she added.

Most of her produce, which includes watermelon and tomatoes, go bad due to lack of customers.

Muendi said she had become a burden to her mother, Regina Mutava, who assists her to wash, dress, and even cook.

Under medication

“My mother washes me, helps to dress and fix the prosthetic leg, and all other chores in the house,” she narrated.

The woman said she was still under medication and a doctor at PCEA Kikuyu Mission Hospital who did an assessment recommended further amputation of her limbs.

“The facility wanted me to undergo further treatment since the scar left after the initial amputation had not healed. The cost of treatment was estimated at Sh385, 000 but I unable to raise the amount,” she said.

Having three children in school and a house to pay, she said life has been tough, adding that politicians who had promised to help her had not honoured their pledges.

“Women leaders from this county had promised to help buy prosthesis and expand my small business, but it has turned out to be empty promises.”

She asked the Government to assist her sell her husband’s assets to enable her to raise her children in a decent environment.

Tito Wanga, a prosecutor, said the woman needed to apply for a court order and have the area police station boss execute it.

“She must obtain a court order first, then the procedure would follow on determining what can be sold,” said Mr Wanga

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Judith MuendiMakueni County.Court order