It was a crime of passion that earned Susan Nyathira a 10-year sentence behind bars. It is from behind these prison bars that she revisited the events that led to the death of Ann Njeri - her husband’s alleged clandestine lover. .
A mission to establish whether Njeri was having an affair with her hubby ended in tears, pain and regrets for Nyathira, now whiling her time at the Nakuru Women GK Prison.
As she cools her heels in jail, the husband has since moved on and remarried.
Nyathira had for months suspected that Njeri, an erstwhile friend-turned-enemy, was in an intimate relationship with her husband. But she did not know how to approach the issue, since she feared offending both parties.
As Nyathira pondered what to do to salvage her marriage, she continued to be bombarded with rumours of their affair, eventually losing self-esteem, and at one point, walking out of the marriage just to cool off.
“I was angry after receiving reports that my husband’s affair was public. I was ashamed that my dream of living a happy life was fast fading,” she says, as she opened up to talk about how her life turned upside down.
Nyathira used a kitchen knife to kill Njeri after luring her into her Narok house one sunny afternoon on June 3, 2007.
In the heat of the moment, she stabbed Njeri in the thigh and stomach, since she could not stand the thought of sharing her man with another woman.
Married only at 16, naive Nyathira believed that married couples remained faithful till death did them part.
“My husband was my first lover. As far as I was concerned, marriage was a union in which people who love each other come together and enjoy life together. How wrong I was!” she says with a forced smile.
Thirty-year-old Nyathira says she is remorseful and regrets the extremes to which she went, in the hope of salvaging her marriage.
She struggles to hide the pain of being away from home, blaming her shattered dreams on uncontrollable anger and naivety that are typical of the youth.
At one point, the young mother left her matrimonial home and moved back to her parents’ house to protest the affair. But her father persuaded her to go back to her husband and work things out.
On the night before she killed Njeri, Nyathira confronted her husband, demanding that he clear the air over the secret affair, which she claims had made her a laughing stock at the market.
“I remember clearly how things happened that day. I woke up as usual, not knowing that it would be my last day in that house,” she recalls.
At lunchtime, since her husband was not around, Nyathira decided to grab a quick bite and walked into a nearby cafe and ordered takeaway boiled meat.
While enjoying her meal, Nyathira received information that Njeri had been seen around. She decided to confront her about her affair with her man. So, she Nyathira invited Njeri to her house, but things took an ugly turn when they started quarrelling.
In a fit of rage, Nyathira picked a knife on the table and stabbed Njeri, who later succumbed to the wounds.
“I confronted her and demanded to know the truth. After about 20 minutes during which Njeri denied having an affair with my husband, I got very angry, picked a knife and stabbed her. Before she died, she admitted to the affair,” says Nyathira of the incidents that destroyed her family.
Nyathira says it dawned on her with horror that she had killed Njeri. She gathered courage and called her husband on phone. He arrived at the gory scene, “shocked and speechless,” says Nyathira, who was arrested and taken to Nairegi Enkare Police Station as the body was moved to the morgue.
She was locked at Nairegi Enkare Police Station for 19 days before taking plea as police said that they needed time to complete their investigations.
Nyathira was detained alongside her baby and stayed in remand for four years before she was sentenced to serve 10 years at Lang’ata Women Prison. She was moved to Nakuru four years later.
Nyathira says that while at Lang’ata, she lapsed fell into depression after learning that her husband had move on and remarried.
“I was in denial. Everything happened so fast and I found myself in prison where my whole world came crashing down,” says Nyathira. She adds that she is remorseful and regrets what she did.
“If I get out of prison, I will start my own salon, though my main concern is to teach my peers on anger management,” she says. Her wish is for Njeri’s family to forgive her.
“If only I was able to control my anger, I would be home with my family right now. But it’s too late and unfortunately I can’t undo what I did,” she adds.