Kenya: Waiguru Urges Mt Kenya Elders to Help End Gender Violence

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has expressed concern over the increasing cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the Mount Kenya region.

She singled out Kirinyaga, where she said women have been battering their husbands following domestic disputes.

"There is a spike in gender-based violence in the region," the governor said.

Speaking in Sagana town on Saturday afternoon, Ms Waiguru said the situation is worrying and called on Kirinyaga and Njuri Ncheke elders to help eradicate the vice.

She told the elders, who met for a cultural exchange programme, that they have a role to play in bringing peace in homes.

Offer solutions

"The elders should be aggressively involved in addressing gender-based violence and offering solutions to the problems," she stated.

Recently, a man was attacked and seriously injured by his wife in Gichugu Constituency.

The victim, Evans Miano, 64, was injured on his nose and lips after he was assaulted in Muthigiini village.

Witnesses said that the couple quarrelled over unknown reasons.

It was then that the woman confronted Mr Miano and repeatedly rained blows on him.

It took the intervention of the neighbours to rescue the victim from the wrath of the assailant.

Bleeding profusely

"We had to rescue Mr Miano who was bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth and took him to Kianyaga Sub-County Hospital where he was treated and discharged," one of the neighbours, Mr John Ngure, said.

The neighbours narrated how Mr Miano fled for his life with his wife in hot pursuit.

"We saw Mr Miano fleeing towards our homesteads screaming for help. We had to stop his wife from beating him," Mr Ngure explained.

The neighbours said the woman had been habitually beating up her husband on trivial issues.

Went underground

Kirinyaga East Sub-County Police Commander Anthony Wanjuu said the woman went underground immediately after the assault but she is being pursued.

The suspect will face assault charges once arrested.

"We have reliably learnt that the woman has been battering her husband in the past three months. The victim has been suffering in silence and his wife must face the law," said Mr Wanjuu.

Already, three witnesses have recorded statement at Kianyaga Police Station and will be prosecution witnesses when the suspect appears in court.

Cases on the rise

Mr Wanjuu lamented that cases of men being battered are on the rise in the sub-county.

Last Month, four cases were reported and police said were treating the matter seriously.

"In this area men receive severe beatings from their wives. Some of the cases even go unreported," Mr Wanjuu remarked.

He said one man committed suicide after constant attacks by his wife.

Discourage FGM

Ms Waiguru advised couples to resolve their disputes without attacking each other.

She also asked the elders to discourage female circumcision in the region.

"FGM (female genital mutilation) is an outdated cultural practice which should be discarded," she said.

She observed that girls are forced to drop out of school and marry once they are subjected to FGM.

"The FGM ruins the lives of young girls and the elders should go round the region preaching against it," Ms Waiguru said.

In response, the elders said they do not support GBV and FGM, and vowed to be actively involved in fighting the two vices.

"As elders, we don't condone GBV and FGM. These are crimes which should be condemned in the strongest terms possible," said Mr Cyrus Githaka, the chairman of the Kirinyaga Council of Elders.

The elders said GBV and FGM are outdated and those involved in them should be heavily punished in accordance with the law.

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