Jackline Mwende, the woman who hit the headlines last year after her husband chopped off her hands because she could not bear him a child, is now heavily pregnant, and proudly so.
The father of the baby, whom she is not naming, is a close friend she had been dating before she was attacked.
She conceived barely a day before the alleged attack by her husband, and she has no regrets, because she “opted to go this route” out of her deep-rooted desire to bear a child.
Her marriage to Stephen Ngila Nthenge had been childless, and on Tuesday, she told the Daily Nation at her Masii home in Machakos that the attack might have had something to do with the fact that, a day earlier, she had been seen in public with the man she was having an affair with.
“We had sought accommodation in Machakos town because I did not want to bring him to my matrimonial bed,” she explained on Tuesday, the pain of the memory from seven months ago squeezing the resultant sheen of pregnancy from her eyes.
“It was on the Saturday of July 23 and after spending time with the other man I went back home, where I lived alone because my husband had taken off three months earlier,” she said.
On the night of July 24, a day after the Machakos tryst, Mwende was attacked with a machete, sustaining deep cuts in her head and arms that forced doctors to amputate both limbs.
The enduring image from that attack is her, desolate and defeated, staring into the camera days later, what remained of her hands heavily bandaged.
“It was after the attack that I found out that my husband had asked my neighbours to spy on me. They were the ones who told him of my trip to Machakos with the man on the Saturday I conceived,” she said on Tuesday.
‘I WANTED A CHILD’
She, however, refused to disclose any details regarding the man she was having an affair with, but clarified that there had not been any further contact with him as they had only agreed that he make her pregnant and they go their separate ways.
“I wanted a child. I was desperate and it is that yearning … and probably the devil too … that made me stray out of my marriage,” she said. “But I did it to save my marriage.”
She discovered she was pregnant following days of nausea that prompted her to go for a medical check-up. She is due to give birth at the “end of February or beginning of March”.
“It was wrong to do it and I know people will judge me harshly for it,” she confessed, “but I am remorseful because I was desperate.
“Knowing that am alive today, and that I will be a mother soon, is the silver lining in the middle of all the heartache and gloom.”
‘A COOL GUY’
Her husband, who has denied attacking her, has been described by his close friends as a “very cool and good guy”, and so the attack in Ilinge village of Masii came as a shock to many.
One man said Ngila was brought up in church, was an active member of the local youth group, a choir member, and even held a leadership position in church.
Days after the attack last year, he was arrested and later released on a Sh200,000 bond for attempted murder. The case continues on February 27.
The Daily Nation broke Mwende’s story soon after she was discharged from Machakos Level 5 Hospital on July 29 last year. Shortly thereafter, she was transferred to Kikuyu PCEA Hospital for specialised care.
Her confession of an extramarital affair came just days after a German organisation, Merck, through one of its projects, More than a Mother, built her a two-bedroom house in Kathama village, Machakos County.