Jane Rose Naliaka is seated by the dusty road side of the small Soy town. She is on her wheelchair with a small stretch of wood that she uses to spread her merchandise.
I get close by to purchasing some groundnuts. I see a tired woman who was agonizing over her situation. Absently gazing at a distant hope that sometimes in future things will change for her to have a good life.
I began a conversation with her and noted she is a mother of five daughters. She has been through a lot not just as a person with disabilities but as a woman who is enduring domestic violence.
“I married Mr James Kiprotich in 2008 and we had a blissful relationship for only two years before he joined bad company and begun taking alcohol and other drugs and that is the time I knew peace,” she says.
She adds her husband always came home drunk and would beat her mercilessly leaving her for the dead. So regular was the beatings that even neighbours who used to give her shelter during bouts of domestic violence gave up accommodating her and she would frequently end up spending her nights in the cold.
“Sometimes he would come home drunk and would take a knife and want to kill me with it,” Naliaka says “On many occasions Kiprotich will throw me off the ground. Only my strength would save me and let me see the light of day.”
Several times, Naliaka tried to leave, too. But she always ended up coming back, for one reason: She couldn’t afford to support her children on her own.
“Mr Kiprotich who is a motorcycle mechanic has not been of much help. He has been drinking what he gets and sometimes we sleep hungry. The corona pandemic has been of adverse effect to me and my family. I am here by the road side to feed my family but things are hard on me,” she says.
She lamented sometimes last year her husband together with a man believed to be a military officer came and demarcated their land. She noted she sat him down and asked him but he was furious and ended up beating her badly.
The military officer took the land and built a house on it. My husband was given only Sh50, 000 but he has remained in the Military man’s budget for alcohol and other drugs.
She noted she has raised the matter with the area chief and village elders but her condition is hopeless as it necessitates injustice to her and her kids.
“I have kids who are starting their education life and need to secure a future that is better than mine. But we are being side-lined just because we have no means to bribe the elders and authorities in obtaining our justice,” she lamented.
“I believe this military man is taking advantage of my husband’s situation. His mental state is a matter of concern and by the time we realize all the land will be gone. This land helps me in farming but today it’s someone else’s. We have nothing to do but just suffer because I am not able to get help,” she says.
“I really plead, we need help, anybody in a position should save us from this looming eviction,” she added.
She indicated all her efforts are not bearing fruit and hopes a saviour will emerge to save them. I leave her asking myself a rhetorical question; will justice ever be served to this lady?
By Hassan Adan Ali