Nakuru woman, 26, set ablaze by husband dies

NAKURU, Kenya, October 4, 2019 – Lucy Kanira, the 26-year-old woman from Nakuru County, who was dosed in petrol and set ablaze by her husband, has passed on.

Kanira died at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, where she was receiving treatment for over 25 per cent burns that she sustained in the Saturday, September 28, attack. Nakuru Level 5 Hospital medical superintendent, Dr. Joseph Mburu, confirmed Kanira succumbed to her injuries on Thursday night (October 3).

The victim was attacked by her spouse, 24-year-old Bernard Kariha, a mechanic, for allegedly returning home late.

Kanira, on Thursday said that Kariha had given her KSh10, 000 to travel to Nairobi on Friday, September 27, and buy clothes to sell. She said her husband expected her back home early Saturday, but she returned in the evening, triggering the petrol attack.

Kanira said she left Nairobi at 3pm, and called her husband to inform him that she would arrive home late. The victim said her partner did not want to hear her excuses, only saying he wanted to see her home by 4pm.

Kanira arrived home at around 7pm, when she was attacked by her spouse. The victim told K24 Digital that the Saturday attack wasn’t the first time Kahira was being violent towards her.

“In the three years that we have been married, he often beats and slaps me, but not to the magnitude of the Saturday aggression,” she said.

Kanira’s mother, Teresia Waithera, said that her daughter had, all through, kept her in the dark about her husband’s violent behaviour. Jenifer Mathenge, a charge nurse at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, said that Kanira was admitted to the facility with over 25 per cent burns sustained to his face, arms, legs and breasts.

The suspect, Kariha, told police that he had lit a “small fire” in the house to drive mosquitoes away, but, “sadly, it burnt my wife.” Kariha and Kanira had three children, who have since been taken in by Kanira’s mother, Waithera.

The couple’s neighbour, George Kuria, said Kariha is a bad-tempered man, but he [Kuria] couldn’t imagine he [Kariha] could kill his wife. Kanira’s body was moved to the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital morgue, as her husband remains in custody pending arraignment.

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