A man and his wife escaped death by a whisker after their daughter poisoned their drinking water in Bura, Tana River on Saturday.
As reported by Nation, the 17-year-old poisoned her parents after her mother sided with her stepfather in a defilement case she had petitioned elders about.
The girl’s uncle said she had accused her stepfather of repeatedly defiling her and threatening her with death if she told anyone. The sexual abuse started when she was 13.
The uncle told the publication that the girl had at one point fled from home to live with him but she never revealed why.
“She was always quiet and wanted to sit alone most of the time. She rarely spoke with her cousins and they never asked her about her personal issues,” the uncle said.
After living with her uncle for six months, the girl’s mother pleaded with her to return home.
The girl told elders that her mother helped her procure an abortion in 2018 after informing her that her step-father was responsible.
She said her mother later quarreled with her husband who left, only to resurface towards the end of 2019.
In February of this year, however, the man started abusing the girl again.
“She told the elders that her mother then was very sick and had been admitted to Bura Hospital, so when she was defiled, she went to live with one of her friends where she confessed her ordeal,” the uncle said.
Petition to elders
The girl asked her friend to help her write a petition to the elders and her parents were summoned to tell their side of the story.
However, the girl’s mother testified against her painting her daughter as undisciplined and vengeful while praising her husband as supportive and humble.
An elder in the council, Said Barisa, said the girl failed to prove her allegations and did not have any witnesses except her boyfriend whom she had earlier confessed her ordeal to. The elders said he could not be relied upon.
“It was difficult for us to prove rape in this case. We sought traditional expertise but it failed to prove rape. We went for hospital expertise but it could not prove any rape,” said the elder.
The case was dismissed, with the girl said to have been angered by the decision and her mother’s betrayal.
She rushed home and allegedly laced drinking water with poison before taking off with her belongings.
She also left behind note that read: “Let us meet where God will settle our score and prove our innocence for absolute vindication.”
Later in the evening, her parents started feeling unwell; the woman was groaning in pain on the floor while the man collapsed in the bathroom.
An elder who had missed the day’s proceedings went to check on the family and found the couple writhing in pain.
“I first called one of the elders who also is our well-known herbalist. He is the one who administered first aid before we rushed them to a private hospital in Madogo where they are recuperating,” said Mr Rahma Dabaso.
Mr Dabaso said the herbalist revealed that the girl had used a concoction used traditionally by farmers to hunt down buffalos and hippos.
“It is a very dangerous one, those bodies would turned into soil wherever they were in less than a month if nobody had come to this place early enough,” said Dabaso.
The girl led the area and has not been seen since the poisoning incident.
Additional Reporting by Nation