Mother to defiled girl returns, says, “I am not as bad”
Syunzi Mathembe, mother to ‘ Mwende’ resurfaced on Monday.
Syunzi Mathembe chose a curious day to return to her matrimonial home in Kaloo Village, Kitui county last week. She arrived at the home she had deserted three years earlier less than a week after The Standard on Sunday had published a harrowing story about Mwende’s brutal defilement by Syunzi’s lover Peter Nzuki Mbuvi who then in concert with Syunzi locked up Mwende (not her real name) in a room for three weeks to hide their shame.
On the day that Syunzi arrived at Kaloo Village last week, other well-wishers had come to help Mwende get medical attention because her brutal sexual assault on September 13, 2011 had left her partially paralysed and in crutches.
Last week, Syunzi confessed to her lover’s crime for the first time — she said Nzuka had indeed sexually assaulted her daughter when she was 11, and now lives in Garissa after his acquittal which was made possible when his lover and co-conspirator destroyed crucial evidence that may have landed him behind bars for the rest of his life.
Read:[VIDEO] Mother abandons daughter 15, after she is raped and crippled by the mum’s boyfriend in Kitui County
But in a strange twist last week, Syunzi, probably gnawed by her guilt, appeared eager to make amends as she leaned on a rickety granary and carefully scanned the faces of visitors, possibly looking for signs of hostility.
“Can I be allowed to accompany her to hospital, I can help in cleaning her and washing her clothes,” Syunzi offered.
I looked her straight in the eye, and she seemed to read my mind, “I am not as bad as people claim,” Syunzi lamely offered.
A neighbour who had overheard her request confronted her, and called her an evil woman. Syunzi’s husband Zakayo Muthemba, the man she jilted, suddenly became aware of her presence and lost his temper… he had to be held back by area chief Samuel Maithya.
It was possibly then that Syunzi realised her game was up and melted away.
To the villagers of Kaloo, Syunzi’s transgressions were plain … she had conspired with her lover who sexually assaulted her daughter, an account Mwende painfully narrated to us a week earlier.
“He stepped on my thigh hard and I felt my bone crack,” Mwende had told The Standard on Sunday. Mwende remained locked up for three weeks before anyone got wind of her tribulations as her mother and lover went on with their business without a care in the world.
It was when Mwende’s paternal grandmother Mbisu Mengi confronted Syunzi that her whereabouts were established.
Chief Maithya, then summoned his officers and rushed the girl — then only 11 — to Mwingi District Hospital where doctors noted severe injuries inflicted through sexual assault.
The hospital, however, could not adequately handle the case so she was referred to Embu Provincial General Hospital for specialised treatment. But due to lack of funds, Mwende was discharged and sent home.
Nzuki was later arrested and arraigned in the Mwingi law court where he denied the charge of sexual assault. He was remanded at Waita Prison for two years as the case progressed, says Maithya.
Mwende’s father Zakayo Muthemba, who had now returned home from Kangundo in Machakos County where he worked as a farmhand, says his wife set all the medical documents concerning their daughter’s case on fire and with it some of the evidence that may have led to a conviction. This left presiding magistrate magistrate H.M. Nyaberi with little option but to terminate the case against Nzuki, Muthemba said.
Now the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keriako Tobiko, has called for Nzuki’s re-arrest.
At her hospital bed at Kenyatta National Hospital’s private wing where Mwende is undergoing treatment for the deep lesions that still ooze pus, the convalescent is thinking about a future that involves bringing justice to victims — she says she wants to be a police officer. As she ponders her fate, Nzuka, the man whose bestial act has left her badly scarred, is still roaming the streets of Garissa town freely, his dark deeds hidden from those who interact with him.