Petrol canister with funnel [Photo: Shutterstock]

A woman has been arrested after burning her eight-year-old son’s fingers using kerosene at Matete village in Lugari constituency. The suspect is alleged to have committed the heinous act after the son returned home from playing with his peers within the village.

The boy said her mother stripped him naked before tying his hands using artificial hair (weave) and doused him with kerosene and setting the hands alight. “It was not the first time. She has used a hot iron rod to burn my back and sometimes she uses burning cigarette to inflict injuries on me,” claimed the victim.

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Matete Sub-county Police Commander Moses Mang’eni said the suspect will be arraigned in court after investigations. Jackton Mukongolo, the victim’s grandfather, said he was not at home when the incident happened. “There was no one available to rescue my grandson when the mother attacked him. She has been warned on several occasions against assaulting the boy,” he said.

According to the old man, the boy’s father works away from home but appears to have neglected his son. “I don’t know why the woman hates the boy and treats him differently from her other children,” he said. Agnes Jackton, the victim’s grandmother, said she fears for the life of the boy after several attempts on his life by the mother.

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The boy was spotted with severe burns by a child rights activist who alerted the police who arrested the woman and took her to Matete Police Station for questioning in connection with the incident. “I spotted the boy’s burnt hands and he recounted to me what had transpired. That is when I called in the police,” said Geoffrey Bakuli from Urafiki Initiative, a non-government organisation championing the rights of children in Kakamega County.