An employee of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi is under investigation for allegedly assaulting his Kenyan ex-lover in an extreme case of domestic violence.
Ruth Gakii was on Sunday battered and left with serious injuries by Alphonse Kambu, a Papua New Guinea citizen, with whom she has a son.
According to her, Mr Kambu came home drunk and turned violent while demanding food.
The couple separated in 2012 and had been entangled in a court battle over child custody. The judge recently ruled in Ms Gakii’s favour.
The two had been in a two-year relationship that resulted in the birth of their baby boy in 2012 but parted ways because of the man’s drunkenness and violence.
“We separated two months after I gave birth to our son. Since then he has been picking our son every weekend and returning him,” narrated Ms Gakii, 26.
So, on Sunday, Mr Kambu as usual brought his three-year-old son home after they had both attended a birthday party.
“When he arrived, he was drunk and the baby was dripping wet so I took him to the bedroom for a change of clothes,” recalled Ms Gakii.
While she was inside her bedroom, Mr Kambu picked a quarrel with the house-help asking why there was no food in the house. He then summoned Ms Gakii to “explain”.
“Immediately I came from the bedroom, he slapped, kicked me and smashed me against the wall. At this point, the house-help fled with the baby leaving me behind helpless,” Ms Gakii told Nairobi News.
At some point, she had a concussion and upon gaining consciousness, her attacker was still inside the house.
He resumed battering her until she freed herself from his grasp and opened the door for neighbours to come to her rescue.
She reported the matter at Kiamumbi Police Station and sought treatment at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital where she has been admitted since Sunday.
According to her, the police never arrested Mr Kambu because he claims that, as a UN employee, he enjoys diplomatic immunity.
“He has beaten me in the past and whenever I report the matter he calls diplomatic police and he is let off,” said Ms Gakii from the hospital bed.
Mr Kambu is currently at his house in Ridgeways and has reportedly taken his son from the mother’s house located along Kamiti road.
UNEP, in an email conversation with Nairobi News, acknowledged that Mr Kambu is a legal officer in the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions. The UN body pledged to cooperate with the Kenyan authorities during investigations.
“United Nations staff members enjoy immunity from legal process only in respect of words spoken or written, and of acts performed by them in their official capacity.
“Without prejudice to the privileges and immunities accorded to the United Nations and its staff members, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect local laws,” read the statement from UNEP.
Kasarani Police Division OCPD Robinson Mboloi, on his part, said investigations were ongoing on the matter and that police were awaiting a P3 form from the hospital.
“We are waiting for the victim to return a P3 form that was issued to her so that we can ascertain the degree of injuries that the suspect inflicted on her,” Mr Mboloi said.