A woman on Sunday died by suicide in Kisumu after she was forced to relocate to her husband’s rural village in Awasi.
Witnesses and neighbours said Ms Maurine Adhiambo jumped into a 100-foot borehole at Chiga estate on the outskirts of Kisumu Town as her husband waited for her to take a boda boda to the bus stage.
Before taking her life, Ms Adhiambo had allegedly been beaten by her husband, Mr Bernard Omondi, after she resisted the planned move to the village.
Mr Omondi, 30, a road construction worker, spent the Christmas holiday in Awasi building a house for Ms Adhiambo, his second wife. The first wife lives in the village, and Mr Omondi reportedly wanted Ms Adhiambo to join her to ease the burden of paying rent in town.
The two clashed immediately Mr Omondi returned to town in the morning to find Ms Adhiambo missing from their rented house.
The woman, in her early 20s, had reportedly abandoned her two-week-old baby to spend time with her former boyfriend at a nearby shopping centre. The baby and Ms Adhiambo’s two-year-old son were found crying in the house by their father.
Neighbours tipped-off the husband who confronted the two lovers but the man managed to escape.
Mr Omondi then ordered his wife to go home and pack for the journey to Awasi.
Witnesses said Mr Omondi assaulted his wife before forcing her to board a boda boda to the house while he followed her on foot.
On reaching the house, the woman had already packed her belongings but before the two could start their journey, she asked the husband to give her a few minutes to return a thermos flask that she had borrowed from a neighbour.
JUMPED INTO A BOREHOLE
The woman, however, never returned to her house after handing over the thermos. Instead, she rushed to the borehole and jumped in.
‘‘I was shocked beyond words. It happened so fast that I could not rescue her,” their landlady Sarah Wamamba, who witnessed the incident, said.
The landlady raised the alarm that attracted the attention of the villagers who came to rescue Ms Adhiambo.
Mr Paul Oyugi, a village elder, said efforts to rescue the woman were hampered by the high water level.
‘‘The borehole diggers managed to go up to 50 metres deep but were overwhelmed by the excess water,’’ he said.
The body was later retrieved by firefighters who arrived hours later.
Kisumu police chief Musa Kongoli confirmed the incident, saying the body was taken to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.
‘‘It’s too early to rush to a conclusion because we are not sure whether she slipped into the borehole accidentally or did it intentionally,’’ he told Nation on phone.
Village elders, with the help of the residents, apprehended Mr Omondi as he tried to leave with his two children.