Rhoda Mumbi Mutua Koskei was her name, another case of Femicide in Kenya. Rhoda Mumbi was born on 28/5/1983 and murdered on 8/7/2017. The main suspect of Mumbi’s murder is Nicholas Koskei. He was last seen with Mumbi at Jacaranda Elementaita Hotel, where they had gone to celebrate his birthday.
Mumbi was the daughter of Geoffrey Muthuri (Foreign Affairs), and Casty Kagendo of Chuka, Meru. Wife of Nicholas Korir Koskei (UNICEF). Mother of Ryan Kibet Korir and Jason Kiptoo Korir. Sadly this is one in many cases of Femicide in Kenya!Rhoda Mumbi Mutua Koskei was her name, another case of Femicide in Kenya. Is this becoming a pattern? #JusticeForMumbi Click To Tweet
Why is there so much Violence Against Women?
Violence against women comprises a wide range of acts – from verbal harassment and other forms of emotional abuse, to daily physical or sexual abuse. At the far end of the spectrum is femicide: the murder of a woman.
While our understanding of femicide is limited, we know that a large proportion of femicides are of women in violent relationships, and are committed by current or former partners.Violence against women comprises a wide range of acts – from verbal harassment to emotional, physical or sexual abuse. At the far end of the spectrum is femicide: the murder of a woman. #JusticeForMumbi Click To Tweet
Retracing Rhoda Mumbi’s Last Steps:
Along with her husband, Nicholas Koskei, Rhoda Mumbi set out towards Gillgil. Nicholas, was turning 36, and had decided to celebrate his birthday in style by traveling with his wife out of town.
Mumbi had two boy children, one aged 2 and the other 4 years at that time. She left them under the care of her elder sister to fully embrace this moment since Nicholas rarely took her out.
Rhoda Mumbi: Last Seen with Nicholas Korir Koskei:
Their final destination was Jacaranda Elementaita Hotel, where they would celebrate Nicholas’ big day while resolving their marital differences. They arrived later that afternoon and had drinks by the poolside. As night fell, they were seen heading to their room.
Later that night, Mumbi was found naked inside their hotel’s bathtub, dead. Though Nicholas claimed that Mumbi had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, hints have pointed towards a pre-meditated murder.
Police Investigations – No Trial 2 Years Later!
The death looked suspicious to the police. Investigations revealed that Nicholas had previously visited the Jacaranda Elementaita Hotel.
During these re-visits, he would have noted the lack of CCTV Surveillance Cameras and distance of the cottages they were staying in, from the reception. During a reservation call made by Nicholas, he insisted for a room with a tub like Mumbi loved.
Autopsy to Determine Nature and Cause of Rhoda Mumbi’s Death:
Post-moterm examinations were conducted by 3 independent pathologists representing the government, Mumbi’s kin and Nicholas Kosgei.
The goal was to determine the nature and cause of Mumbi’s death. Since 2017 and two years later, the trial has not yet begun.
What is Femicide and how can we end it in Kenya?
Femicide is generally defined as the murder of women because they are women, though some definitions include any murders of women or girls.
Largely, Femicide has been used to describe killings of women by intimate partners and family members; it has also been used to describe gender-related killings in the community.
The term femicide was introduced in the last century to describe killings of women that were gender related in order to recognise the impact of inequality and discrimination, identified internationally as a root cause of violence against women.
Femicide has been identified globally as a leading a cause of premature death for women yet there is limited research on the issue in Europe.
The Global Study on Homicide in 2011 indicated that while there has been a decrease in homicides worldwide there has been an increased in the number of femicides.
Rise and Rise of Femicide in Kenya:
Nairobi becoming a dangerous city for women as femicide continues to rise. Murder, murder, murder and more murder of women has dominated the headlines in recent weeks.
With the string of horrifying and senseless killings, concern has peaked in the country on the safety of women who seem to be the main casualties.
Between January 1, 2019 and April 13, 2019 only, 40 women have been murdered, this is according to data from Counting Dead Women Kenya.
Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (Creaw) is a national feminist women’s right Non-Governmental Organization whose vision is a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity and mission is to champion, expand and actualise women’s and girls’ rights and social justice.
According to a press statement of the increasing cases of Femicide in kenya, Creaw stated the following:
Our condolences go out to the families, friends and all those who knew Ivy Wangechi. Her killing comes at a time when Kenya is grappling with high prevalence of cases of femicide perpetrated by men; such must never be tolerated in the society. The Bill of Rights protects human life and no reason whatsoever justifies the wanton killings targeting women witnessed across counties.
The normalisation of violence by Kenyans on social media and other public spaces is a dehumanisation of the victims and is insensitive to their legacy and the trauma of those affected; family, friends and by extension, the women of Kenya. Further, it creates a culture of victim shaming and blaming which permits violence to thrive. Love is not equal to death (#Love≠Death). This has to come to an end.
Femicide, should not be normalised, there has to be deliberate action by all Kenyans to end violence against women. We call on the President of Kenya to declare femicide and other forms of Gender Based Violence a national disaster and commit to addressing it. We also call upon the Director of Criminal Investigations to speed up investigations in all ongoing femicide cases and bring perpetrators to book.Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (Creaw)
Further reading on Femicide: Understanding and addressing violence against women
Homicide Rates and Statistics in Kenya:
The value for Intentional homicides (per 100,000 people) in Kenya was 5.80 as of 2015. In 2016, homicide rate for Kenya was 4.9 cases per 100,000 population.
Though Kenya homicide rate fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase through 2007 – 2016 period ending at 4.9 cases per 100,000 population in 2016.While our understanding of femicide is limited, we know that a large proportion of femicides are of women in violent relationships, and are committed by current or former partners. #JusticeForMumbi Click To Tweet
Report on Violence Against Women in Kenya
Women in Africa are at the greatest risk of being killed by their intimate partner or family members, the latest report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says. The report released on Sunday ranks Kenya among countries with high cases of female homicide cases. The ‘Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related killings of women and girls 2018’ shows women are far more likely to die at the hands of someone they know.
According to the report, 38.5 per cent of girls and women aged between 15 to 49 in Kenya have experienced physical violence at least once in their lifetime, while 24 per cent have experienced physical violence in the past 12 months. The rate of female homicide rate in 2016 stood at at 12.6 per cent.
Africa and Asia had the largest number of females killed purely by intimate partners in 2107 with 11,000 each. “More than two-thirds of all women (69 per cent) killed in Africa in 2017 were killed by intimate partners or family members,” the report says.
The UNODC notes 87,000 women were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, showing an increase in the number of female deaths related homicide.The data was 48,000 in 2012. Women killed in Africa by intimate partners or family members in 2017 was 19,000.
As with homicide in general, in countries where most women are killed by partners or other family members, most physical and sexual violence against women is perpetrated by partners.
“Although the common image of sexual violence is a violent attack by a stranger, most sexual violence is actually perpetrated by individuals known to the victim, including intimate partners, male family members, acquaintances and individuals in positions of authority,” The report says.
According to the report, although sexual assault by a stranger is widely acknowledged to be a crime, rape in marriage, sexual coercion in schools, sex in return for a job, and forced marriage are still tolerated or socially condoned in many parts of the world.