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Pastor stabs wife, five-year-old son to death, goes into hiding

Police in Imenti South, Meru County have launched a manhunt for a pastor who on Saturday, March 25, 2023, allegedly killed his wife and their five-year-old son.

In an incident which has shocked residents, Mr Boniface Mutuma committed the heinous act before fleeing from the scene which was where they resided.

He stabbed both his wife and son on the neck using a knife and by the time neighbors learnt it, a knife was still lodged in the neck of the minor.

“The incident took place in the morning and by the time neighbors alerted the police, all the two had died,” said Mr Richard Korn-goren, who is the Mitunguu Deputy County Commissioner.

Neighbors and relatives who have already spoken to the police said the couple has been having feuds since the start of the year 2023.

They said that at some point the woman had threatened to quit the marriage which caused more trouble.

The bodies have since been taken to Kanya-kine level 4 mortuary as investigations continue.

Homicide and suicide cases in Kenya have been on an upward trajectory in the recent past attracting concerns from the public.

In 2021, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) said that 1,442 Kenyans attempted suicide between 2015 and 2018, which it said were conservative figures as only a fraction of cases were reported.

The organisation linked the rise in cases to mental ill-health caused by a breakdown in socio-economic safeguards, saying it was the “last resort and path of escape for individuals with unaddressed mental health needs”.

“Research has shown that structural determinants of mental ill-health such as extreme poverty, lack of access to empowerment opportunities and discrimination increase the likelihood of individuals committing suicide,” the KNHCR said.

“Unfortunately, suicide prevention measures in Kenya have often failed to address these root causes and instead incorporated fewer effective approaches, including punitive measures.”

According to World Bank, suicide mortality rates in Kenya at 6.1 people in every 100,000, with men being in the highest risk category, with 9.1 men in every 100,000 affected.

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