Kenyan man accused of chopping off wife's hands

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Kenyan woman with hacked handImage source, Evans Habil/Nation Media Group
Image caption,
Jackline Mwende reportedly accused her husband of being drunk when he attacked her

A Kenyan man accused of chopping off his wife's hands and hacking her head with a machete after blaming her for their childless marriage should face the full force of the law, rights activists have said.

Stephen Ngila has been arrested for allegedly attacking Jackline Mwende almost two weeks ago, reports say.

Kenya has high levels of domestic abuse but Mrs Mwende's case was "particularly shocking", activists added.

Mr Ngila has not yet commented.

Mrs Mwende, 27, said a drunk Mr Ngila, 34, told her "today is your last day" before he attacked her at her parents' home in a village in southern Machakos County, Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports.

This was despite the fact that doctors told them she was fertile and he was impotent, Mrs Mwende was quoted as saying.

A video of her with stitches on her head and stumps where her hands once were, wrapped in bandages, has also been shown by Kenyan media.

The couple were living separately when Mr Ngila allegedly attacked Mrs Mwende, reports said.

Reuters news agency quotes Kenyan women's rights group Equality Now as saying that Mr Ngila has been charged with attempted murder, but there has been no independent confirmation of this.

"This is a particularly shocking case for Kenya... even though domestic violence is rampant," Naitore Nyamu of Equality Now told Reuters.

"We can't afford to let the perpetrators act with impunity - which has sometimes been the case in recent years," she added.

The chairwoman of Kenya's Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Josephine Mong'are, said cases of violence against women had been "escalating" and police should ensure that "all culprits are brought to book".

"FIDA Kenya reiterates that violence against women is unacceptable and must not be condoned in society," she said.

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