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Sterile husband attacks wife with machete as punishment for not conceiving

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'When he attacked me on Sunday, he was drunk.'

Jackline Mwende and her husband Stephen Ngila were married seven years but were unable to conceive, leading Stephen to lash out by attacking his wife with a machete.


Catholic Online (
8/7/2016 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Jackline Mwende, hands, machete, Kenya, attack

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Nation, Jackline met and married Stephen within three months.

She said it was love at first sight and described Stephen as a "kind and God-fearing" man.

"He taught me how to make dresses and clothes," she recalled. "We fell in love during this time and we had a church wedding three months later.

"But he gradually became violent and drunk. He spent more time in Masii town and would come back late at night, drunk and violent. He also chewed miraa. When he attacked me on Sunday, he was drunk. But I stayed because I wanted to save the marriage and my home."

Years later, when the couple saw they had yet to conceive, they went to a Nairobi hospital, where they learned Jackline was healthy and fertile but Stephen had reproductive "issues."

The news only further enraged Stephen, who began to make their married life even more difficult.

Sadly, when Jackline sought help from a pastor, she was given the same advice many women in Kenya receive: "Stay and fight for your marriage."

Jackline followed his advice and prayed the marriage worked out. 

Meanwhile, Pastor Patrick Kioko of the Masii District SDA Church, who was the best man and the couple's wedding, explained: "It seemed there was hope for reconciliation but the man was not ready to mend the union. In fact, he even moved out and rented a room in Masii town."

Jackline didn't want "to be seen as the one who broke her marriage" but Pastor Kioko said he "noticed the man was determined to leave.

"So it was agreed that they live in peace in their separate homes and ask the courts to dissolve the marriage. Because, as a church, we don't end marriages."

For reasons unknown, the couple reunited and got into another of their loud fights.

When their neighbor Susan Kaloki came to their door Sunday evening, she found Jackline's hands hacked off and her face and abdomen slashed with a machete.

"We found one of her arms on the door while the other dangled by the skin...They were always fighting," Kaloki explained. "The chief and local leaders were aware and had even tried to counsel the two.

Jane Munyoki, Jackline's mother, recalled: "I pleaded with her to pack her things and leave their home in Ilinge Village because of the constant quarrels, but she said he would change. Then this happened.

The next day, Stephen was captured as he attempted to escape.

"I gave him my daughter, who was complete and well, and now she does not have hands," Jane sobbed. "I hope the government does not release him. I am afraid that if he is let go, I will die of depression."

Jackline now lives with her parents, who must feed her and help her do even the simplest of tasks.

Without hands, Jackline has become entirely dependent. The horrific attack was through no fault of her own yet her story is merely one of many in Africa.

Shockingly, counseling psychologists in Kenya are so accustomed to violence that some don't want couples to break up.

Counseling psychologist Mary Wainaina explained: "The best thing to do is talk to them and let them decide what to do. They know it's dangerous, but they are suppressing the idea by staying.

"But once given a choice, when they sober up, they will know it's wrong.

"When you leave you can actually make things work, and start thinking soberly. Do not stay in a comfort zone that is uncomfortable."

Meanwhile, psychologist Ken Munyua simply stated: "When a relationship is abusive, you should leave and become a survivor of violence rather than stay a victim of violence.

"It may even become extreme; today one begins with your face, then your hand, and, ultimately, he will take your life.

"Counseling is the way to go. However, survivors of torture, because that is what abusive relationships are, need to undergo special therapy to heal."


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