Nairobi: Man to hang for burning wife to death

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By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A man who doused his wife with paraffin before setting her ablaze has been sentenced to death.

Lady Justice Roselyn Korir ordered Boniface Litunya do suffer death by hanging after finding him guilty of murdering his wife.

Justice Korir said the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Litunya torched his wife and “threw her out of their Njiru estate residence within Nairobi while burning.”

“I believe the testimony of the neighbour who saw the deceased in flames burning after being thrown out of the house she was residing in with her husband,” Justice Korir said in her judgement.

Mr Litunya who was charged with committing the crime on November 19,2010 gave a contradictory statement of defence which the court said “could not shield him from blame.”

Quoting the testimony of the neighbour the judge said, “the next door neighbour of the accused told this court that the deceased and her husband used to have frequent domestic rows and fights erupted spontaneously.”

On the fateful day, the accused is said to have quarrelled his wife accusing her of engaging in heavy drinking with male friends and “returning home late in the night.”

In his defence the accused said that when he returned home that night he found his wife burning in the face and later changed his story to say that his wife threw a stove at him then he threw it back to her before it exploded on her.

The judge said the change of statement was aimed “at concealing his guilt and malice aforethought.”

In his mitigation, the accused said he was a first offender and urged the judge to consider the seven years he has spent in prison remand.

“I am remorseful and regret my actions,” Mr Litunya said. 

In her judgement Justice Korir said , “a precious life was cut short by the accused who had not respect for the deceased at all.”

Mr Litunya was given 14 days to appeal against the sentence and conviction.


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