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Six-year-old girl doused with paraffin, set ablaze over mother's Sh4,000 debt

By Daniel Chege | July 16th 2021

A court in Nakuru was on Thursday told how a six-year-old girl was tied to a chair, doused with paraffin and then set ablaze over Sh4,000 debt her mother owed a neighbour.

Judy Nyakira, a policewoman who investigated the case, told Justice Hilary Chemitai that Agnes Omuyoyi committed the offence on May 25, 2018, at Kwa Rhonda slums in Nakuru, Town West.

Nyakira said the accused confronted Irene Odhiambo, the mother of the minor, before turning her anger on the innocent girl.

The officer said a dispute had ensued between Omuyoyi and Odhiambo.

It was alleged that Omuyoyi was found with T-shirts belonging to Odhiambo.

Omuyoyi reportedly went with the T-shirts to Odhiambo’s house, where a quarrel ensued.

“According to Odhiambo, Omuyoyi stole the T-shirts, allegations that she denied,” testified Nyakira.

The court heard that neighbours saw Omuyoyi return to Odhiambo's house, where she tied the minor to a chair, poured paraffin on her and set her ablaze.

Screamed for help

Odhiambo said when she entered her house, it was filled with smoke, and everything was burning, including her daughter. She said that she found a lantern lamp that was burning and she put it out.

"My daughter was tied to a chair... her hands and legs were tied together and then the rope was fastened to the chair," she said.

Odhiambo said that she was overwhelmed by the smoke, as she tried to free her daughter. She dashed out of the burning house screaming for help.

The minor was rushed to hospital, but she died six days later. 

Dr Titus Ngulungu, a pathologist who testified in the case, said that the minor suffered superficial burns classified as 60 per cent burns.

In his postmortem report dated June 8, 2018, he stated that the minor suffered burns on her head, face, lips, scalp, cheeks, limbs and abdomen.

“The minor died due to lack of oxygen, possible dehydration and infection from the burns,” he said. The court will deliver a ruling on September 30. 

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