The pain of seeing their kin fighting for her life in hospital is a traumatic experience that will forever haunt the family of Billy Mitei whose daughter was doused with petrol and set on fire by her husband.
Emmy Chepkoech, 45 years old primary school teacher lost her life on October 7 at Tenwek hospital where she had been receiving treatment.
She had been admitted to the Intensive Care unit after she was referred from Litein Mission Hospital where doctors could not treat severe body burns.
At the hospital, doctors told Emmy’s kin that she had sustained 97 per cent burns on her body.
It is the story of a Bomet family who never imagined that they would lose their daughter in the hands of a cruel and vindictive killer husband.
“My elder sister was in excruciating pain. She went through what no human being should ever go through,” a distraught Susan, the deceased sister narrated.
“She was a fighter. She was a ray of hope and sunshine and we will miss her,” said Susan.
In a report by local newspaper the Nation, the family of Emmy Chepkoech is yet to come to terms with her painful death.
The report says that her husband, Robert Tonui on the night of October 3 set her on fire at her father’s home in Seanin village in Konoin constituency.
On the fateful day, the killer husband Mr. Tonui is said to have followed his wife, who three weeks earlier had left her matrimonial home after a bitter disagreement.
In an interview with the daily nation, the family says up to date they do not really know what exactly happened on the fateful night she was set on fire by the husband.
They told the daily that after eating their evening meal, everyone went to bed in the main house which is separate from the kitchen.
“That night at around 9pm and after everyone had had dinner in the kitchen that is separate from the main house, it was time to retire for bed. Everyone left except my sister and her six-year-old son. The man entered the kitchen and poured petrol on her while she was sitting by the fireplace. He then lit the fire, burning her.” Emmy’s sister, Susan Mitey told the Nation.
Mr. Tonui after he had committed the heinous and horrific act on his wife escaped and the police are yet to arrest him.
His whereabouts is still unknown with the officers having searched for him at his Kobel home and his parents home in Kapset.
Her family admits that she has been having marital troubles but they never thought it was that bad even though there were reports that the husband had been physically assaulting her.
“My sister has been having issues in her marriage for a long time… Her husband has over the years been violent and irresponsible. She always complained that he did not help in taking care of their seven children,” Susan said.
Three weeks before the heinous ordeal, she had taken her father accompanied by elders and the local chief to try and resolve their issues with the husband.
However, that could not happen as the husband refused to meet the elders for a reconciliation talk.
“Upon arrival, her husband locked himself in the house and refused to open despite the chief and elders trying hard to persuade him. The meeting, therefore, did not take place and my parents returned home together with my sister,” Susan said.
Speaking to the Nation, Emmy’s father, Billy Mitey paid a moving tribute about his ‘unique, hardworking and a devoted Christian daughter,’
“I took my daughter through college and secured her employment so she could see her children through their education. Several times I have tried to resolve their conflicts hoping they would settle and live peacefully. I am deeply pained. It is painful for any parent to lose a child. Mine is extremely painful, owing to circumstances surrounding her death,” Mr Mitey said.
The father is now crying for justice for his daughter, and has asked the police to quickly apprehend the suspect.
Emmy Chepkoech is another statistic of ravaging domestic violence cases which have been on the rise over the past few months, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.