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Police hunt for man who clobbered wife to death and fled

Police were Friday looking for a Kiambu man who allegedly murdered his wife even as women activists took to the streets to protest the rising homicide cases targeting their own.

Mr Peter Muchuru Mwaura allegedly hit his wife Jane Nduta, a mother of two, on her head with a blunt object, killing her on the spot before fleeing.

Police said Ms Nduta’s body was discovered by neighbours on the floor of her husband’s rented house in Murera village in Juja on Wednesday evening.

ABOUT TO MOVE OUT

Her husband was not at home, though neighbours said that the two had been seen removing items from the house as if they were about to move out.

Ms Nduta’s relatives said the couple had been living separately after parting ways about three months ago.

“The man had even remarried but he kept calling my sister asking that they meet up. He did so last Sunday but I warned her against it. After all, what were they meeting to discuss when the man had already moved on?” posed Ms Esther Wanjiku, Ms Nduta’s sister.

Police said the suspect lured his wife to his house ostensibly to let her pick up the clothes she had left behind.

“Neighbours found the woman’s body lying on the floor and called the police, who took it to City Mortuary,” said Juja deputy police commander Mike Njeru.

He called on residents to help police with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspect, a quarry worker.

HOMICIDE CASES INCREASE

During the demonstration at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, activists condemned the upsurge in homicide cases targeting women.

They were later joined by Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris, who accused the government of failing to address the violence against women.

“The authorities appear to be lax when it comes to dealing with violence against women. Many such cases hardly ever come to a fair conclusion. They all just fizzle out,” said Ms Christine Omao, a women’s rights crusader.

She decried the rising cases of women being killed by their spouses and urged the government to act firmly. “Even if it means President Uhuru Kenyatta declaring this scourge a national disaster, let it be so. The situation appears to be worsening by the day,” Ms Omao said.

The protest, which was organised by lobby groups such as Feminists in Kenya, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund and Haki Africa, coincided with International Women’s Day, which was celebrated concurrently in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The protest came amid rising cases of domestic violence targeting women, some leading to death. The cases include the highly publicised slaying of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno, whose death hit the headlines late last year, culminating in the prosecution of Migori Governor Okoth Obado and two of his aides.

Another high-profile murder was that of Ms Monica Kimani, who was found dead in her apartment in Kilimani, Nairobi. Television journalist Jacque Maribe and her boyfriend Joseph Irungu are facing murder charges relating to Ms Kimani’s death.

Ms Beryl Ouma was allegedly strangled to death by her husband in Kahawa Sukari, and Ms Mildred Odira was murdered on her way to hospital.

Data from Counting Dead Women-Kenya shows that 25 women were killed between January 3 and February 28.