27-year-old Dorcas Awinja (pictured in bed at the Nairobi Women's Hospital on Tuesday, January 19) sustained burns after her husband doused paraffin on her and set her on fire over a love text message.
Awinja, who is admitted at Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Nakuru branch, suffered 63% burns and has wounds on the neck, arms, breast, thorax, abdomen, back and legs. She depends on the nurses to feed, dress the wounds and bathe.
The mother of two from Ipali village, Luanda sub-county in Vihiga County, Kenya said she had been married for 12 years before the incident happened.
"My husband poured paraffin on my nylon dress and lit fire on me, leaving me with all these injuries," she said.
According to Standard Digital, she had just arrived home from her business of selling vegetables and prepared dinner for her children and her estranged husband, aged 33. However, just before they went to bed, her husband’s phone started ringing but he kept ignoring the calls. Awinja said she picked the phone after a message came through and was shocked to see a love message from a woman.
"I confronted him because I was so annoyed and a scuffle ensued," she said.
In a fit of rage, her husband allegedly poured paraffin on her and lit a match stick, setting her on fire. Awinja said she started crying for help and her neighbours rushed her to Coptic Hospital in Maseno.
"My husband went into hiding and started calling our relatives, claiming I had burnt myself under unclear circumstances," said Awinja
The incident was reported at Luanda Police Station and the police say they are still looking for the suspect. Emuhaya police boss Benson Kilonzo said Awinja recorded a statement and police have intensified search to arrest and charge the suspect with assault. Kilonzo condemned the act, saying it is inhuman and called on married people to find better ways of solving disputes.
"We have conducted all investigations but unfortunately, the suspect is still at large," said Mr Kilonzo
Coptic Hospital referred Awinja to Nairobi Women’s Hospital. Awinja called for the arrest and prosecution of her husband, saying he had abused her several times. “I want him arrested and justice served.
"It is unfortunate that I will never get to have my smooth skin back. It is so unfortunate," she said.