Mother Seeking Custody Of Their 1 Year-Old Daughter From Her Abusive Husband.



A middle-aged woman in Murang’a is appealing to the authorities to help her regain the custody of her children after her abusive and drug addicted husband chased her away and denied her access to her children.

Cecilia Njeri Mwangi from Kirere Village in Kigumo Constituency, Muranga County married Simon Maina aka ‘Mutahi’ in the year 2004 and went to live at his maternal home in Ithanga, Gatanga Constituency. They were later blessed with two kids, a boy and a girl and their life was previously okay save for the normal spouse hitches here and there.
  
But life change all over sudden on the night of 28th June this year when he came home drunk and a dispute ensued. Njeri alleges that Mutahi beat her up mercilessly and even threatened to attack her with a panga. On realising the danger that was before her, she ran away and sought refuge from one of their neighbours where she spent the night.

“Ever since, my life has been hell with him. I am battered almost on a daily basis for apparently no reason. We have quarreled a lot especially when he asks me to go and buy him bhang, both for his personal use and for sale. Whenever I decline, he beats me up and sends me away,” said Njeri.

She alleges that in each of these occasions, the husbands takes the children and goes to sleep with them in their matrimonial bed.

Her efforts to seek solace from his mother has been fruitless as she always dismissed her by saying that she could not interfere with their internal affairs. She claims that she persevered his beatings for some time until he started hiding a knife under the mattress.

“I saw this knife under the mattress and questioned him what it was for. Instead, he beat me up and sent me to sleep outside. He then called my sister and told her that he was about to poison my two kids and then commit suicide. My sister called me to inquire about the issue to which I responded by stoning the mabati roof to find out if all was well,” she explained.

To her relief, the flight of stoning the house in the dark night scared the children who resulted to crying.  

She called the area assistant chief, Mary Gachau who declined to come to her rescue, arguing that it was very late in the night and she could not face an armed man alone without security officers. She instructed her to report to the neighbouring police post.

Njeri reported the same to Rubiru Police Post in Ithanga where the police officers demanded sh. 5,000 to facilitate their work. She was unable to raise the amount and instead called some of her relatives who were able to send her sh. 2,500.

She alleges that the police called the assistant chief (Mary), gave her the money and they all proceeded to Mutahi’s home. On seeing the police, Mutahi’s mother managed to run away with youngest leaving the couple’s eldest son to go to their mother (Cecilia). All this time Mutahi was seated in the compound.

The police refused to pursue the Mutahi’s mother in order to reclaim the child, rather they dismissed Cecilia by saying that their time was up.

Her efforts to get her 1 year-old daughter have been fruitless since the authorities have given her plight a wide berth. Mutahi is said to have threatened to kill the area assistant chief and Cecilia’s father when they tried to get this child.

She has already sought the help of Murang’a Women Representative Sabina Wanjiru and the Thika Children’s Department office to help her get the child but all in vain. The children’s office referred her to their counterparts in Murang’a but she has not yet gotten a response.

Cecilia is now appealing to the authorities to assist her get back her daughter as she fears for her life and safety. She claims that the husband is known to go for drinking spree with the child and at times abandon her on the fields. She also fears that since they sleep in the same bed, her husband may turn against the kid and sexually molest her.
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