By Graham Kajilwa, Standard Media, 01/08/2018

A 29 year old woman is fighting for her life at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) after allegedly being set on fire by her estranged husband at their matrimonial home in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.
A once beautiful and bubbly Salome Kanini is now confined in bed with over 60 per cent burns at the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Her younger brother is nursing deep cut wounds on his left hand following a struggle to save her.
In the Thursday evening incident, Salome’s brother John Njenga said her sister’s estranged husband called her with instructions to come and fetch their son’s school uniform as he was joining nursery. But when she got homes the man poured petrol and burnt her.

The two, Njenga explained, had already separated in September last year and her sister had returned to live with her parents in Kiserian together with their two children.

They had been married for five years.

Salome asked her brother to accompany her that evening to pick the school items. But as soon as they arrived, the man, who police have identified as Stanley Nduati, a matatu driver pulled her in the house and locked out the brother.

The man, then started issuing threats that he was going to kill her and then take his own life as neighbours watched. That is when Njenga tried force his way into the house.

“I felt sharp pains on my hand then I realized he was stabbing me with a kitchen knife. I told him no matter how many times he stabbed I was not letting go,” said Njenga.

It was at this time that he got out his phone and called his mother to inform her of the incident. A neighbour offered a sledge hammer that was used to break the window but by that time her sister was already on fire and were forced to splash him with cold water.

“We watched as he picked gallon of petrol, poured on her, lit the matchstick, and turned on the gas cylinder. By the time a neighbour offered her a blanket, all her clothes were burnt. It was hard to recognize her,” he said.

The husband later stormed out brandishing a knife threatening to kill anyone who dared approach him before he jumped off the balcony from his house on the first floor and vanished on foot.

While the family admits that the two have been having issues in their marriage which are finance related, neighbours in the area claim there was nothing out of the ordinary compared to other couples.

“People have issues, but there was not really anything strange from their union. It was astonishing to us when we heard commotion and saw a woman up in flames,” said Eliud Waruinge.

The man was later arrested that night when he tried to sneak back to the house to collect some of his belongings. He is currently being held at the Ongata Rongai police station.

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