How Do I Tell My Son I Killed His Father; Ciku Cry Foul

228

On November 23, 2011, Ms. Hinga, then 21-years-old, was found guilty by then High Court judge Philomena Mwilu. Earlier on, she had pleaded guilty to the charge of killing her husband Allan Njung’e. She admitted that she killed Njung’e on November 5, 2010 at Kibiku village in Kiambu. It was said that Njung’e had gone home drunk and picked up a quarrel with which led to the death.
When delivering her ruling, Justice Mwilu noted that Ms Hinga did not appear sorry at all. “This is a very detailed probation report of an offender who appears not repentant and who does not seem to acknowledge the magnitude of what she did,” said Justice Mwilu.
Ironically, the probation officer in her case had recommended that she be set free. “We plead for leniency and consider a non-custodial sentence. She loved her husband and left school to live with him. She will need to explain to her son what happened to his father,” said the officer in the report. However, Justice Mwilu sentenced Ms. Hinga to five years in prison.
Now that she is free, Ms. Hinga is struggling to come to terms with the reality that she will need to sit down and explain to her son what exactly happened to his dad.
Ms. Hinga was 16-years old when she fell in love with her late husband. Her mother lived and worked in Mombasa while her father lived and worked in Kiambu.
She was so smitten that eloping with her lover, Allan Njung’e, was no big deal. At the time, she was in form three. “I stayed at his home and felt loved and protected. It was really nice at the beginning,” she says. She got a son and named him Promise. Then problems started flowing. “I used to fight with him. There is a time when I cut him on the hand with a knife. His parents told him to report me to the police but he refused. He said that he loved me and couldn’t hand me over to the police.”
Later, she started to suspect that her husband was having an affair. A day after Njung’e’ 30th birthday, Ms. Hinga stumbled on a bill that she says confirmed her fears: Njung’e was seeing another woman.
“I was worried when I saw the receipt of alcoholic drinks. I felt bad because the amount on it was Sh. 3,000 and that week, I was sick but he claimed he didn’t have money. Then every Friday, he started coming home drunk all the time. All this made me insecure,” she says.
On the fateful day when she killed him, Ms. Hinga had started preparing supper at around 4pm. After cooking, she waited for her husband, but at 9pm, she decided to go to bed. “He came home at around 1am, and I really felt angry. I told him that I couldn’t take it anymore. And then I found that I had already taken the knife and stabbed him in the chest. It wasn’t intentional, but was fueled by anger that had built up over a period of time.”
Her husband slumped on his weight and said,” Ciku, You’ve killed me?” She says that she panicked and called her mother. She explained what had happened, and her mother told her to run away from that house. However, she opted to turn herself in to the police. It was only after she had been booked that she was told her husband had died. “I was shocked and I started crying.”
Ms. Hinga claims that she still loves her late husband and doesn’t know if she can ever love another man that way. However, she says this without any conviction, perhaps betraying the resentment that had built up in her past marriage.
In any case, she has to contend on how she’d reveal to prospective lovers that she killed her husband. However, she says that her current priority is her son, Promise.