Matters sex among partners can sometimes become emotional to the extent of a spouse causing harm to the other in a fit of rage. Over time, the country has recorded several incidents of sexual partners turning against each other after being denied conjugal rights.
Take the case of a man who was sent to cool his heels in jail for 45 years by an Eldoret court on November 27 after he was found guilty of killing a student who reportedly turned down his sexual advances.
Idd Mustafa was linked to the murder of a college student on September 30, 2019.
21-year-old Emmah Wanyota, an Eldoret Vera beauty college student, was brutally murdered at her home in Moi’s Bridge, Uasin Gishu County. She only had a month left to complete her college education.
Mustafa was found with her laptop and phone. He killed her by hitting her with a blunt object on her head, then raped her before chopping off her legs after she rejected his sexual advances.
“I have considered this matter as far as sentencing is concerned. I have also reflected on the judgment of this court and my view is that various establishments were made by the state and the defence,” Justice Reuben Nyakundi noted during the sentencing.
The judge found that the convict acted with malice, hatred, and ill will, and the murder of the college student was planned and premeditated.
“Taking the heinous manner in which this murder was executed, I sentence you to 45 years in a custodial sentence,” the Judge stated.
Adding: “I have taken into account that this was a murder so heinous which was motivated by hatred, ill will, and with a motive to commit this crime without due regard to the sanctity of human life.”
In his defence, Mustafa had told the court that he was in a relationship with the slain student.
However, in a sworn testimony, he claimed that he was not within Moi’s Bridge area on the day his girlfriend was murdered and he only heard about the incident later.
Like the Eldoret case, similar cases have been witnessed over time but under different circumstances and places in the country.
Back in 2020, a man aged 54 was accused of killing his wife at a village in Luarambi, Kakamega County over allegations that she had developed a habit of denying him conjugal rights.
Joseph Shiro was said to have killed Florence Nakonjio while they were arguing in their bedroom on the fateful night.
Witnesses said they heard the confrontation between the two and upon rushing to see what was unfolding, they found the man hitting the deceased using a jembe. The deceased succumbed to the injuries before she could be taken to hospital.
Prior to that, a court in Mombasa ordered the detention of a 70-year-old man over claims that he had killed his wife aged 28.
Kahindi Kazungu was accused of stabbing the lady in the chest using a kitchen knife before walking into the station and surrendering himself. He said the two had lived for five years within Changamwe in Mombasa.
On the fateful day, it is reported that he confessed to police that his wife has always denied him sex.
The suspect man is said to have married the young wife after the death of his first wife with whom they had two children.
In court, he said that there were no witnesses in the house on the night of the murder and raised no objection to his detention. Then in Eldoret, a woman was attacked and injured by her husband for allegedly denying him conjugal rights in 2017. The woman was admitted to the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital with deep cuts on the head and ears.
“My husband demanded sex, but I informed him that I was having my period. He did not take this kindly and claimed that I was unfaithful,” she said.
She said he kept threatening her and spying on her through his friends and relatives.
“My husband began spying on me after I denied him conjugal rights. He would call neighbours, asking them my whereabouts and would walk into the house in the wee hours and pick a quarrel,” she said.
In January 2022, a woman moved to court seeking to be allowed to access conjugal rights from husband serving a twenty-year sentence.
The woman suing the then attorney general stated that her husband be allowed to retain his rights citing her rights to have intimacy with the husband Erastus Odhiambo.
Odhiambo was convicted and sentenced in 2018 for killing lawyer Linda Wanjiku in Buruburu estate.
“The first petitioner is in her reproductive years and it is her desire to sire more children, continue being a woman and now seek for conjugal visits with her spouse to meet her sexual needs,” he lawyer argued.
The lawyer added that failure by the respondent to accord and provide facilities to enable the first petitioner access such visits elucidated above amounts to a violation of her most basic need as a woman.
Experts argue that most people might not be aware that for a friendship to graduate into a sexual relationship, a clear consensus must be reached by the two partners.
According to counselling psychologist James Mbugua, communities should be reminded that sex happens under consensual agreements. He explains that even for the spouses, respect for personal space should be put into consideration when it comes to bedroom matters.
“Even if you have bought chicken and fries for your partner and later on a disagreement resurfaces, that does not give a right to harm or force,” he explains. “A no should be respected because it cannot be written in the other, a right to space and decision ought to be respected,” he added.
The expert says in cases that end in loss of life, the judges have the liberty of making their sentences based on evidence adduced in court.
Relationship therapist Nicoleta Mungai argues that such incidents occur because men see women as objects.
She says it is also ego that drives such men to feel inferior when denied sex and view women as powerless.
“In some cases, such men quickly suspect that their women are seeing other men when they say no to sex. But in a real sense, maybe the woman is not ready at the time. For men, they use sex to relief their stress,” observes Mungai.