A 29-year-old woman, Salome Kanini died yesterday at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) after being set on fire by her estranged husband at their matrimonial home in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County, Kenya.
According to reports Salome suffered over 60 per cent burns after her estranged husband poured petrol on her and set her ablaze last Thursday, January 4th. Her younger brother is nursing deep cut wounds on his left hand following a struggle to save her.
Salome’s brother John Njenga said his sister’s estranged husband called her with instructions to come and fetch their son’s school uniform as he was joining nursery. But when she got home the man poured petrol and burnt her.
The two, Njenga explained, had already separated in September last year and his sister had returned to live with his parents in Kiserian together with their two children. They had been married for five years.
Salome asked her brother to accompany her that evening to pick the school items. But as soon as they arrived, the man, who police have identified as Stanley Nduati, a matatu driver pulled her in the house and locked out the brother.
The man, then started issuing threats that he was going to kill her and then take his own life as neighbours watched. That was when Njenga tried force his way into the house.
“I felt sharp pains on my hand then I realized he was stabbing me with a kitchen knife. I told him no matter how many times he stabbed I was not letting go,” said Njenga.
It was at this time that he got out his phone and called his mother to inform her of the incident.
A neighbour offered a sledge hammer that was used to break the window but by that time her sister was already on fire.
“We watched as he picked gallon of petrol, poured on her, lit the matchstick, and turned on the gas cylinder. By the time a neighbour offered her a blanket, all her clothes were burnt. It was hard to recognize her,” he said.
The husband later stormed out brandishing a knife threatening to kill anyone who dared approach him before he jumped off the balcony from his house on the first floor and vanished on foot.
The man was later arrested that night when he tried to sneak back to the house to collect some of his belongings. He is currently being held at the Ongata Rongai police station.