Connie Muuru, a businesswoman based in Nairobi, recently held a memorial service for her daughter, Sharon Muthoni, who died on January 14 last year after she was allegedly beaten to death by her then-boyfriend only identified as Serem.
Ms Muuru, who has resorted to start a project that would empower victims of domestic violence, says her daughter’s experience has made her cognizant of the macabre experiences people in violent relationships go through.
Connie narrated to eDaily what transpired until her first born, in a family of three children, died.
“My daughter was not married. She was living in Belgium, where she pursued her first and second degree alongside international languages; she could speak French, German, Dutch and many more. She got a baby in 2014. When I visited her in Belgium, I did not like the place.
“I asked her to relocate to Kenya when the baby turned one because – according to me –, Belgium was not conducive to both of them.
“Sharon returned to Kenya in September, 2014. She stayed in my house up to April, 2015 when she moved out. She went to live in Syokimau, and that is where she met her partner, who ended up killing her. Their relationship had not even lasted one year. The guy was putting up with a friend of his at the time before moving in with my daughter,” Ms Muuru told eDaily amid pains.
“The man was not working, so my daughter was the one who was providing for him. She left some voice recording, which she sent to friends complaining how the man was brutally beating her. It reached a point where my daughter asked him to leave her alone – and she was very firm.
“It seems this man was in denial and decided if he would have to leave, then he would kill her. I was with Sharon on December 29, 2015 and on January 14, 2016 she was dead; just within two weeks, she had been beaten to death. I don’t know what that man did to her exactly, as you can see in the photos, the torture was horrific.
“When we received postmortem results from Kenyatta University Hospital mortuary (seen by eDaily), it revealed that nearly all her vital organs had blood clots and other parts had pus. It seems he was hitting body parts that he was sure when wounded, would result into my daughter’s death.
“Two days before her death, I told her to come home. I could see she was stressed. She was undergoing through so much that I did not know. Her house help told me that Sharon used to be beaten and blood would splash everywhere in the room. Maybe my daughter was hopeful that Serem was going to change and become a good man. She did not want to spoil his name to me,” said Ms Muuru.
The businesswoman says Serem had lied to Muthoni – few days into their relationship – that he had a project that had a potential to generate millions in revenue, only that he did not have sufficient capital to fund it.
“The man told Sharon he had a big project in Uganda – and that he needed a half-a-million-shilling funding. My daughter came to me and told me: ‘Mum, if you do this for us, we’ll be okay’. I took a KSh500, 000 bank loan and gave the money to her. Surprisingly, within two months, they could not even afford food. The man had squandered all the money – and even took my daughter’s ATM card when he realised there was no money left in her savings account.
“It later emerged that Serem was previously married to another woman. I think they divorced, but my daughter did not know about that, and I too did not know about that until she died. All I know is he has an 18-year-old daughter whom he’d walk around with, saying her mother disappeared. So, who knows? If the girl’s mother disappeared the way my daughter disappeared, who knows? This other family, we did not know about it. Serem had told my daughter that he was living in the United Kingdom before relocating to Nairobi, Kenya. I don’t how true that statement was.
“There was a time he sold everything in Sharon’s house, drained her financially until she could no longer pay her monthly house rent. Sharon had to return to my house, and he followed her because he did not have another place to go to. They stayed in my house for about one month. I thereafter put up a business for them so that they could earn an income of their own,” said Ms Muuru.
“Their relationship lasted a short time and we did a lot because we were expecting good things out of it.
“I reported my daughter’s murder to authorities automatically because her body was dumped at the Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Kayole after succumbing to her injuries. Guards at the hospital noted the wounds on my daughter’s body and told the taxi driver who had brought her not to leave the facility until the woman’s family was informed. That is how the driver looked for us; and when he found us, they left my daughter’s body there and drove off.
“Police at Kayole post, who are still handling the case, took my daughter’s body to Kenyatta University Hospital mortuary. I followed up on the case for a while, and was later informed that the suspect had fled to Uganda on the same night after killing my daughter. Reports say he is still hiding in Uganda. It hurts me I have to move on. But the police have to continue looking for him,” Connie Muuru said, adding: “My daughter was a very responsible person, very mature, very kind, a person of action. Actually I lost, and the world has lost someone.
“I want to put my strength and focus on a project that would provide a platform for people in violent relationships to come out, people living with depression to have a friend who they can confide in. I want to launch the project as soon as possible because people are suffering in silence; and my daughter’s experience hurts me, and it exposed how dire the situation is.
“I want the project to run in my daughter’s memory. I use a social media platform her friends had opened to listen to people’s problems that are similar to what my daughter went through. People have been sending me horrific photos of themselves beaten to a pulp. Others send me photos of them with gash wounds into the head due to domestic violence. Others send me graphic videos while being assaulted.
“If someone shows you little elements of violence, walk out. Don’t wait to be beaten to death – this applies to members of both genders.
“Let the wrangling couple, whose relationship is marred by violence, to separate and solve their differences when not living under the same roof. They can come back together later after their problems are solved amicably. For instance, my daughter knew her partner Serem was not a good person because she was beaten severally. She shouldn’t have waited until she was killed.
“I am not against families, I am not against marriages. But when it comes to death, nothing can be compared. My daughter thought since she was the one providing and paying the rent, then the man was the one to leave. But that shouldn’t be the case. If you are the one providing and your partner becomes violent, please leave him or her. You can get another house and other properties, but not another life.
“I would also like the government to give attention to depression as a condition that needs serious address, and even a kitty should be put in place to tackle the problem. Personally, I went through depression and I was taking medicine and I restored my health. Many people are increasingly finding themselves depressed – consciously or subconsciously – due to lifestyle change. They urgently need help before it gets out of hand.”
To join Connie Muuru in her passionate cause, you can reach her via the email address: email@example.com.