Justice Odunga has given Kenyans creative advice on how to act when a romantic partner calls off a relationship. During an appeal ruling, the judge borrowed from the coronavirus wordplay and urged jilted lovers to accept and move on.
“keep social distance during quarrels and sanitize your minds” were his exact words as he defined steps to take when your lover has called it quits. “Partners are not your property; you have no right to lock them down when they desire to be free,”
He gave this speech during the appeal hearing of Anthony Mwema Musyoka, an officer applying for a reduced sentence to his life imprisonment sentence.
Mr. Musyoka was found guilty of killing his child and the attempted murder of his ex-girlfriend during a domestic spat.
The law enforcement officer doused his girlfriend’s house with petrol and set it ablaze with their two-year-old daughter inside. His girlfriend, Nyakio, is said to have denied the man entry to her home after he had traveled from his post in Siaya County.
When he arrived at her home, she opened the window only to have a brief discussion with him and asked him to leave her alone. It is then that Mr. Musyoka poured some liquid into the house through the window and threw in a match.
Nyakio attempted to escape and grabbed her two-year-old daughter, but it was too late as the gas cylinder in the house exploded. Her daughter was burned to death, and Nyakio sustained grievous injuries to her body.
Justice Odunga condemned the incident and such behavior, stating that one does not own their spouse. Anyone has the right to walk out of a romantic relationship at any point. Whether at the beginning or middle of it.
Musyoka’s behavior remained unchanged as he had acquired a phone while in custody and had been sending threatening texts to Nyakio and her family. Nyakio was getting specialized treatment for the injuries sustained in the blaze, with no help from Mr. Musyoka nor his family.
Judge Odunga declined to set Musyoka free as he had appealed. However, he reduced the life imprisonment sentence to a 40-year punishment meted on him for killing his daughter. He also maintained the previous 10-year sentence for the attempted murder of Mary Nyakio.