Editor’s Choice

Romeo must die: Why Kiambu women kill lovers between October and December!

If you escape, there is still April and June, and most murders happen at the bar or home – never by the roadside

Death in the Afternoon: The late George Mwangi, a contractor based in Kigali, Rwanda had told his sister “I feel like I am close to my death.” His wife, Kiambu politician Gladys Chania, who has several fraud cases in court, is the main suspect in his gruesome murder: She got a tire burst while transporting his body to Kieni forest leaving a trail of witnesses. In rural Kenya, a woman driving a Double Cabin stands out especially a Woman Rep aspirant in the 2022 elections like Gladys.

By Pascal Owade

Contributing Editor/Crime

You are likely to be murdered by your wife around October and December -especially if she’s from Kiambu, the county with Kenya’s highest crime rate and home of most women rotting in jail. If you celebrate ‘New Year’ in one piece, your lover still has April and June the following year to dispatch you to St Peter.

The recent death of engineer George Mwangi, with the wife Gladys Chania as the main suspect, has rekindled debate centred around how marrying a woman from Kiambu is one among 1000 ways to die. Chania, a failed Woman Rep aspirant in the 2022 elections, was arrested in the macabre murder of her estranged hubby: See, Mwangi had taken Lucy Muthoni, a tenant of the couple’s property, who worked as a school secretary, as his new lover.

Murder venues by women are mostly a bar or home-never by the road side

Knives & potato wedges: A murder has seven components: The body, murder weapon, perpetrators, witnesses, crime scene and motive. George Mwangi returned home in Mang’u from a function in Shags in Gatundu and tagged along his new lover and tenant, Lucy Muthoni, who was driving his Double Cabin. Gladys, his wife, also attended the function, but according to the DCI, could have left earlier, and waited for George at home-where sleuths combed through the murder components left behind.

Former DCI Boss, George Kinoti once said that in murder investigations, the victim speaks from the grave: “A murderer always leaves a clue. In case, of many suspects, the case is easier to solve.” Though Chania told cops that Mwangi had left his cellphone at home before he went missing, clues to his murder were all over bloody bedsheets in his bedroom!

Curiously women are rarely subjected to mob justice as opposed to men even when it’s a case of red-handed blue murder. But why do they kill between those months, you might ask?

October and December are months that usher in the ‘high season’ and with it, out-of-town escapades with lovers

Septic secrets: Sarah Wairimu Cohen was accused of conspiracy in the murder of wealthy Dutch hubby, Tob Cohen, in September 2019. Cohen went missing for two months before his body was found in a septic tank at his Kitisuru home, Nairobi. The case has never commenced, but motive for murder, according to investigators, centred on Cohen’s multi-million shilling estate.

Well, according to research on Crime and Gender, April and June are the months when Kenyan girls who cleared high school start flirting with married men, while October and December are months that usher in the ‘high season’ of domestic tourism and with it, out-of-town escapades with office lovers, college girls besides end of year festivities coming with merrymaking, immorality, openly flirting.

Women also kill their men at night or in the morning meaning it’s someone they live with and most likely one they know-a son, lover or hubby. Murder venues are mostly a bar or home-never by the road side.

Majority of women use poison, knives and machetes whose sharpness requires little effort to snuff out a life

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Makueni cop Nancy Njeri was arrested over the killing of lawyer and lover Onesmus Masaku allegedly using a panga-not a gun- in October 2020. Njeri pleaded not guilty. Unlike men, murder weapons of choice are rarely strangulation or crude objects.  Majority of women use poison, knives and machetes whose sharpness requires little effort to snuff out a life.

Reasons for murder included jealousy triggered by love triangles, adultery, family wrangles and property disputes. Men, on the other hand, commit murders any time of day but mostly in the evening! The bulk of their victims are strangers-but rarely women. Men are thus both perpetrators and victims of murder.

Central Kenya has the highest crime rate in the country with Kiambu County as the hotbed ahead of even Nairobi County, according to Kenya Police records. Counties in the Rift Valley are second followed by Eastern, Coast, Nyanza and Western Kenya.

In murder cases, women rarely kill fellow women. The ka-victim is usually a dude-or son of a dude attempting to dump them!

Dial ‘M’ for Murder: Jane Muthoni, the Principal of Icaciri Girls in Kiambu County, was accused of procuring the murder of her husband Solomon Mwangi, the Principal of Kiiru Boys in 2016. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2021. According to research, more men are convicted for murder than women in Kenya, but interestingly, not all women kill their men in person: they contract killers. Most contractors are wives who worked their butts off to accumulate family property only for the man to favour his jangili (side dish).

Kiambu County has more women convicted criminals than other counties. But in murder cases, they rarely kill fellow women. The ka-victim is usually a dude-or son of a dude attempting to dump them!

Kiambu also has the highest number of single mothers per square kilometre. Those convicted for murder are single or single mothers with married men as dead victims.

Most killings happen after threats of being dumped following a pregnancy. Others are killed after transferring properties to the jangili (side dish) “who eliminate them for fear he might change his mind once the love is over.”

This explains why many single mothers-mostly from Kiambu- have baby girls

Silence of the lambs: Besides grown men with parental hair on their chests, the boy child is the other victim of murder in the hands of a woman. Most women jailed over abortion, for instance, singled out carrying ‘a boy’ as motive-especially if the woman is from Kiambu-where land is scarce and another boy is a liability not only on family property but that single mothers with a boy are given a miss by potential husbands, according to research.

Many women from Kiambu also choose abortion upon discovering the sex of the unborn child is a boy.

This explains why many single mothers-mostly from Kiambu- have baby girls notes Florence Muthoni Mainah in Gender Differentials in crime: A Case study of Kiambu County, adding that boys were eliminated as they have “most likely lost their social value and favour in the family and in the community at large. The society viewed boys as a burden such that the preference has shifted in favour of the girl child.”

You are also likely to be subjected to criminal elements if you are single

Entanglement: Nairobi businessman Joseph Kori at the Kiambu Law courts. He had been accused of conspiring to murder his wife Mary Wambui Kamangara alongside his mistress Judy Wangui Mungai in January 2019. He was later released. Wangui was his employee. Wambui was murdered at Wangui’s Four Ways Junction home and her body dumped in Juja, Kiambu County. Most spousal murders revolve around infidelity, family property or both.

Mainah did her research for seven years to 2015 for her PhD in gender and development studies at Kenyatta University and discovered that if a man escapes being murdered between April and June, then he has between October and December to contend with.

Those end of year months mark high murder rates of married men which “could be attributed to the yearly festivity which was intertwined with merrymaking and immorality where men openly flirt around with young women.”

Overall, marriage helps reduce crime as people tend to think about how their spouses might react

Make me a widow: Former Nyeri Principal Magistrate Maisy Chesang was accused of conspiracy to kill her hubby, lawyer Robert Chesang who was shot dead by assailants in their Athi River home, Machakos County in February 2019. Police described it as an assassination. Besides domestic violence and child custody battles, investigators discovered the couple had property wrangles as well. Maisy was released on bond alongside her co-accused.

You are also likely to be subjected to criminal elements if you are single. Mainah’s study revealed that single women comprised 58 percent of convicts followed by the divorced at 16 percent. Mainah informs us that “married persons spend less time in situations that might lead to crime or in the company of friends who might encourage them to commit crime.”

Of the male jailbirds, 51 percent were single, 30 percent were married, 10 percent divorced and seven percent widowed. Mainah notes this means that “marriage helps reduce crime because it increases self-control and people tend to think about how their spouses might react.”

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