Sunday, September 24, 2023
Home > Counties > Embu woman narrates arson ordeal

Embu woman narrates arson ordeal

Had everything gone as per the script, Tabitha Wanja, a young woman from Ngimari Village in Embu East Sub-County won’t be alive today after her estranged husband set on fire the wrong house killing all seven occupants late last year.

The assailant, Boaz Wanjala Iyati who was her former husband struck on the night of October 2 to ostensibly get back at her after learning that she remarried after their breakup in 2021 but missed the target and torched the wrong house.

The suspect who was arrested two weeks ago in Ebuchangu Village in Kakamega County on January 7 is remanded at Embu Main Prison awaiting conclusion of investigations before being formally charged with murder.

The mother of three is thanking heavens to be alive though she empathizes with the relatives of the victims of the fire incident that shocked the whole village.

She says she met Wanjala in 2015 and moved in together the same year where he took her to his rural home in Kakamega to start married life and bore two girls aged seven and four.

However, a few years down the line the marriage was on the rocks after Wanjala started beating her over what she said was to cover his infidelity.

“He could come home and pick a quarrel with me over trivial issues and beat me up,” she says, adding that after it became unbearable in 2020, she fled back to her parents’ home in Embu.

Wanja said he later followed her to try and reconcile with her but after failing to do so, he came back again on a different day and took away the children in the name of taking them out for a treat.

She said she had another child while at home with a different man, but Wanjala thought she remarried and started sending her threatening messages.

The woman said a day prior to the arson incident, Wanjala texted her telling her that he will burn her alive together with her mother.

“The following day, we woke up to the sad news of the burning down of one of our distant neighbor’s house where all the seven family members perished,” she says.

She said Wanjala would later send a message to her phone which she replied and was shocked to learn that she did not die in the fire.

Wanja said the message read “Kumbe hukufa shetani hii (So you did not die you devil)” and from then his phone went off until he was arrested by detectives from his hideout.

She said she reported the matter at Runyenjes Police Station after realizing she was the target of the attack and recorded a statement.

She however says life changed from that day as she has been shunned by neighbors who view her as the cause of the tragedy by virtue of being married to the suspect.

“Nobody in the neighborhood wants to be associated with us as they think we are to blame for the unfortunate turn of events,” she says.

The woman has called on the government to help get back her two daughters home, saying she fears for their safety since a member of the suspect’s family has threatened to kill them if she does not collect them.

The suspect has been arraigned in court twice with the prosecution pleading for more time to complete the probe and to arrest more suspects linked to the heinous act.

He will be brought back in court on January 27 for a mention of the case even as her former wife says she is ready to be a key witness in the case in order to ensure justice is done to the affected family.

By Samuel Waititu

Leave a Reply