The family of a man, who died after he drove his vehicle into the Indian Ocean last weekend, claim he had endured years of domestic abuse from his wife.
On Tuesday, the victim’s mother Musangi Mutinda accused her son’s wife of misrepresenting issues and being economical with the truth.
In an interview with local publication, Nation, at her Kyanika village home in Kitui County, the grieving mother revealed that her son John Mutinda was recovering from severe burns inflicted by his wife who scalded him with hot water last month.
“My son died out of depression and despair because of the domestic violence and marital anguish he endured at home. It is therefore wrong for his wife to insinuate he had gone mad.” said Mrs Mutinda.
On Saturday, the victim stormed out of his house in Vanga Estate, Mombasa, at around 4am, got into his vehicle and sped off towards the Likoni crossing and drove into the ocean.
According to Mutinda’s relative, Benard Kieti, the victim told his wife that he had received a call from his late father before leaving the house in a huff.
“He was saying things that his wife could not comprehend when he left. The wife tried to stop him in vain,” said Mr Kieti who spoke on behalf of the family during an interview at the Likoni Channel.
But a visibly angry mother said the wife was the reason his son decided to take his own life because life with her was unbearable.
Holding the photos of his son with burn wounds all over his chest, Mrs Mutinda said the wife’s misrepresentation of facts had aggravated the pain of losing the father of three children.
“After he scalded him with hot water, the wife rushed to lodge a complaint at Central Police Station Mombasa, prompting police to lock up my son in custody for four days” the mother said adding he was released without any charges being preferred against him.
Mrs Mutinda urged police in Mombasa to investigate her daughter-in-law over the alleged domestic abuse and release the findings of post-mortem for the truth to be known.
Her story was corroborated by the victim’s siblings, who rejected the narrative of mental disturbance but regretted that they should have intervened earlier to save him from giving up on his life.
Contacted for comment, Ms Mueni acknowledged they had marital issues but insisted the media should let her mourn her late husband in peace.
The wife declined to discuss why she scalded her late husband with hot water only saying she need time to explain the circumstances to her mother in law and other family members who were complaining about her.
“Who has given you those photos? This is a private family issue and I cannot talk at the moment because am at police station organizing the postmortem” the wife told reporters, adding the media should stop bothering her when she is mourning her husband.
According to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), Mutinda, 46, drove straight into the sea at around 4.20am Saturday without paying for the ticket.
Soon after the incident, officers from the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police Marine swung into action.
The body of the victim was retrieved shortly after 9am and to Jocham Hospital mortuary.