Authorities in Kenya have arrested a 65-year-old woman accused of beheading her 99-year-old husband after a verbal altercation over food escalated. The two were married for 52 years and share two children.
Police say the suspect, identified as Ndung’u Mugachia, allegedly slit the victim’s right ear with a machete before cutting his throat, Kenyan news outlet, Nation, reported. “She has been in and out of this marriage. For the 52 years that they have been man and wife under customary law, they have lived together for about 15 years,” Mugachia’s brother said, adding that the two had a tumultuous relationship that stemmed from “the paternity of children, family land and suspicions of infidelity.”
The suspect’s brother also said Mugachia always took issue with anyone who gave her husband food or money. A grandchild of the victim also said they “contemplated taking him to a rescue home for the elderly” in 2019, but the suspect “threatened us with all manner of repercussions.”
Police said Sunday’s incident occurred after Mugachia took issue with their daughter serving the victim breakfast. “Preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect was quarreling [with] her daughter-in-law who had given the deceased breakfast. The husband came out to defend the daughter-in-law and that is when hell break loose,” Kandara police chief Catherine Ringera said.
Mugachia is said to have attacked the victim with a machete during the altercation. And though people managed to come to the victim’s aid, it was a little too late. “I was too shocked to even scream. I have never seen my mother-in-law in such a rage; she was not herself. I passed out when I saw her sink the machete into my father’s neck,” the daughter-in-law told the news outlet.
The victim’s body has since been transported to a morgue. “Meanwhile, the suspect is in our custody waiting for investigations to be concluded and [we will] arraign her to answer to murder charges,” Ringera said.
“We are alarmed that the society has become very violent in dispute management. It is not right and we are missing the point. Spilling blood is not a solution. We should embrace peace in all our engagements.”