Police in Hamisi Constituency, Vihiga County have arrested a 59-year-old woman accused of conducting a botched abortion that led to the death of a 29-year-old woman on Wednesday night (July 8).
Also arrested, is the deceased’s 37-year-old husband, who is alleged to have arranged the pregnancy termination.
It is claimed that Duncan Lusava, a resident of Serem Town in Vihiga, ordered his spouse, Linda Indamba, to abort her four months old pregnancy after she allegedly conceived for her ‘mpango wa kando’.
Lusava is said to have organised with a 57-year-old neighbour, Rachel Muhali -- who is allegedly notorious for conducting unsafe abortion among underage girls and women -- to terminate his partner’s pregnancy.
Lusava alleged that his wife had confessed to getting pregnant by her paramour, and not him (Lusava) after he suspected that Linda could have played the field.
At 11:30pm on Wednesday, July 8, Lusava ordered Linda to follow him to Muhali’s place -- a rented house in the neighbourhood -- where the botched abortion was conducted. Linda bled to death later that night, police said.
Neighbours grew suspicious Thursday morning (July 9), when they saw a restless Lusava entering and leaving Muhali’s house in a repeated pattern. They (locals) had, on Wednesday evening, seen Lusava and his pregnant wife enter the quack doctor’s house after being transported to Muhali’s place on a boda boda.
Some of the neighbours, who were curious to know what Lusava and Muhali, were up to stormed the 59-year-old woman’s house, and were shocked to find blood-soaked Linda lying dead on the floor.
“She (Linda) was lying unconscious in a pool of blood. Muhali, who had conducted the botched abortion, was seated calmly on a chair,” a middle-aged female neighbour told K24 Digital.
“I found the quack doctor taking tea and mandazis as she looked at Linda unmoved,” said another woman.
“When Linda’s mother and I stormed into the quack doctor’s room later Thursday morning, we found the elderly woman poking the deceased in the abdomen as she said in low tones: ‘why did you come here to embarrass me?’ Linda, at the time, was only covered in a blood-soaked jacket as she lay on the floor unconscious. Her breasts and the rest of her body were exposed,” said another neighbour, Caroline Mikhako.
Locals claim a guilt-ridden Lusava unsuccessfully pleaded with them to remain silent to avoid attracting the authorities’ attention as he embarked on moving the body of his wife to a nearby morgue.
“After the woman’s death, her husband urged us to remain silent as he hailed a commercial van to transport his wife’s body to the mortuary. We refused, and told him that only police officers could remove Linda’s body from the scene,” said another neighbour, Linet Moraa.
Residents now want action taken against Muhali, whom they accuse of inducing tens of miscarriages among girls and women in the area.
“She is not a native of Hamisi, she has just rented a house here, where she offers abortion services,” said a female resident, adding: “It is unfortunate that police officers know the number of girls she has killed, or permanently harmed through her abortion services yet no action has been taken against her.”
“This woman (Muhali) should be expelled from this community. During this coronavirus crisis, she has procured several abortions on young girls who engaged in teenage sex,” said another local.
Vihiga County Police Commander Leonard Omollo told K24 Digital that the suspects are being held in custody at Serem Police Station as investigations into Linda’s death continue.
“The deceased’s husband will be charged with being an accessory to murder, whereas Muhali, the quack doctor, will be charged with murder,” said Omollo.
Linda’s body was moved to Vihiga County Referral Hospital morgue.
The deceased leaves behind two children; a son aged 11 years, who is in Class Four, and a daughter aged six years, who is in Grade One.
Linda and Lusava were married for over 11 years.