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Eight women killed every month in 2019

By Daniel Wesangula | December 29th 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A portrait of the late Joyce Syombua, 31 with her two children, Shanice Maua,10, and Prince Michael, 5. Their bodies were recovered in a shallow grave at Kilimo in Thingithu Estate, Laikipia County on November 16. [David Njaaga, Standard]

At least 100 women have been reported murdered in Kenya in 2019. This means that on average, 8 women violently lost their lives every month. Some of these were murdered by their spouses, others by their lovers, bosses or criminals.

Data collated from various sources including media mentions and police records show that the worst month for a woman to be alive was February. Globally accepted as the default month of love, for Kenyan women, this proved to be the most dangerous with at least 17 killings reported.

One case that captivated the nation was that of Caroline Mwatha, a human rights activist in Dandora whose body was found in City Mortuary on February 12. She had been missing for close to a week.

The second most dangerous month was April with 12 reported murders.

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January and March tied as the third most dangerous month for women with 9 murders recorded.

May, September and November tied for fourth with eight murders recorded.

June had seven, October had 5 recorded cases, and August recorded 3 murders while June recorded two killings.

Bludgeoned to death

Further analysis of this data paints the violent nature in which these murders were executed. Records by lobby group Counting Dead Women in Kenya shows that in 9 per cent of these deaths the victims were either stabbed, hacked to death or dismembered.

Twenty percent of them were strangled. A further 14 per cent were bludgeoned to death with a blunt object and 7 percent of them were fatally shot, according to the data from Counting Dead Women Kenya.

The violence did not end there. Fourteen percent of the victims were also raped.

Then there are the most dangerous counties for women.

From records accumulated over the past 12 months, Nairobi is the most dangerous place for a woman. Thirteen of the 94 killings happened in Kenya’s capital city. One of the most recent acts of violence happened in Nairobi’s Kasarani area when a 24-year old Kisii University student was raped and stabbed to death in her apartment.

Witnesses told the police that on the night of her death on November 8, the university student started screaming for help at around 11.35pm. Her badly mutilated body was discovered two days later by her boyfriend.

A postmortem revealed that the student was raped, strangled, stabbed and tortured.

Nakuru is the second most dangerous county reporting 11 killings. One of the standout cases from this county was the gruesome killing of a 16-year old girl by a 17-year-old boy who was also her neighbour.

The Third Former was stabbed more than ten times before her body was later dumped outside her parent’s home.

According to neighbours, the boy lured the girl to their house one afternoon when his parents were out, before committing the act. The boy later confessed to keeping the girl’s corpse overnight under his bed before dumping it outside the girl’s parents’ gate.

Kiambu comes third with six cases. Kakamega and Kisii tie for fourth with five cases each.

Homa Bay, Uasin Gishu and Laikipia account for sixth place with four murders each. Laikipia was also the scene of one of the most violent murders of the year that saw mother of two, Joyce Syombua murdered. After missing for days, the bodies of the mother and her two children were found stuffed in gunny bags and buried in a shallow grave.

Meru, Machakos, Muranga and Mombasa all recorded three murder cases.

A standout case from Machakos is one in which a mother and daughter were shot dead outside their gate in Katani as they prepared to enter their house. A hitman, arrested soon after the incident confessed to police that the shooting was as a result of a business deal gone wrong.

Migori, Kirinyaga, Makueni, Nandi and Kisumu all had two murder cases while Kajiado, Nyeri, Kitui, Embu, Lamu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Kericho and Vihiga all recorded one murder case.

Forty-seven of the 94 killings were committed by people known to the victims, who included relatives, friends, husbands or lovers. 

[Data by Counting Dead Women Kenya]


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