Residents of a compound in Mshomoroni, Mombasa, were woken by a commotion and screams around 2am on September 5.
They rushed to the home where the noise came from. A woman lay on the ground bleeding. She had fresh wounds on the neck and chest. She clutched a bloodied knife.
The man of the house lay on the floor as well, shouting that he had been stabbed. He had four stab wounds.
The neighbours rushed 28-year-old Beatrice Wambui to hospital. But the mother of two died on the way.
Her husband Muturi Murimi is recovering at Coast General Hospital.
Police say Wambui and Murimi fought frequently, a claim confirmed by the woman’s mother Rosemary Njeri, 69.
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They had fought earlier in the night Wambui died but neighbours had managed to calm them. The couple resumed their violence at dawn.
“Witnesses said the wife seemed a little drunk. They tried rushing her to hospital but she did not make it,” Kisauni police boss Julius Kiragu said on the phone.
Wambui and Murimi had two children, a daughter and a son, aged five and two years.
The deceased however had a seven-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and she lives in Njoro.
Wambui’s mother Njeri was in Mombasa on Wednesday to follow up on police investigations into the incident. She lives in Njoro, Nakuru county.
“I just want justice for my daughter. I don’t know what to do. Anyone seeing this, please help me so that I bury my daughter in peace,” she said at Mombasa county police headquarters.
Njeri had gone there in the company of Muslims for Human Rights officers to check on the progress of investigations.
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She said the couple had stayed together for about 10 years but were not legally married.
“The husband came to my house in Njoro one night and informed me that he was staying with my daughter. I said I would have none of it because it is against our Kikuyu customs. They never came back,” Njeri said.
She said whenever they fought they would call her using the husband’s phone to inform her.
“They always sought advice from me whenever they fought. I would tell them to talk their issues out. Later they would call laughing as if all was a joke,” Njeri said.
“When they told me she was dead and in the mortuary I did not believe it. Only the last call made me believe she was no more.”
Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma said domestic violence cases in Mombasa are on the increase.
“This year alone we have got three cases where husbands have killed their wives,” he said.
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He called on police to expedite investigations into the case so as to give Njeri closure.
“In fact, we would recommend an inquest into this case because there is conflicting information being given.”
The human rights defender said they are pushing for a postmortem on Wambui’s body so as to ascertain the cause of death.
“Their children say they saw their dad stab their mum. The police should get to the bottom of this case as fast as possible,” he said.
Auma said Njeri had been receiving threatening messages from her daughter’s husband indicating that he would kill her.