Two-month-old baby killed over Sh1000 'chama' debt


Manyatta Kobodo mortuary where the child’s body is being preserved. [James Omoro, Standard]

A two-month-old baby died after falling into hot porridge following a confrontation between a group of women over a Sh1,000 debt in Kabuoch Sub-location in Homa Bay.

According to witnesses, a group of women had invaded the house of 19-year-old Sharon Auma, the mother, to demand the debt she owed the group.

Trouble started when the group of women started ransacking the house to pick items that could act as collateral for the debt. Auma said her pleas to the women to give her more time to settle the debt fell on deaf ears.

According to her, she had borrowed Sh2,500 from the group but had already repaid Sh1,500.

“They entered the house and demanded that I give them the money. I did not have any money at that moment because I had repaid the larger amount and had a balance of Sh1,000 only," Auma said.

She claims one of the women picked a 16-kilogram bag of maize from her house, leading to a confrontation.

In the ensuing chaos, the baby slipped from her hands and fell into the boiling porridge.

“I was carrying my child during the confrontation. Two of them pushed me. I then lost balance and the child fell into the porridge,” she said.

Assistant Chief of South East Kabuoch Sub-location, Benson Adongo, said the boy died while being taken to Homa Bay County Referral Hospital for treatment.

“He died in Rodi Kopany Township on the way to the referral hospital where the family and neighbours were taking him for treatment,” Adongo said.

The body was moved to Manyatta Kobodo mortuary.