When Anisia Muthau got married as a second wife to a local clergyman, life was everything she had ever dreamt about.
The couple was blessed with seven children, and were the envy of many in their Munyariki village home in Igembe South, Meru County.
However, Mr Joseph Murungi, the man she married, soon ditched the church and transformed into a monster, gaining the notorious nickname ‘simba’ and subjecting her to endless violence.
For close to 20 years, part of her married life, Ms Muthau has known no peace.
The sour relationship reached heartrending anti-climax when Ms Muthau, fed up with the constant quarrels and physical fights, left for her rural home to escape the unhappy life.
The husband, feigning to pursue reconciliation, followed his wife to her home, and when everyone was convinced he came in peace, he drew a sword and slashed Ms Muthau’s both hands.
“Everyone was taken aback since we had just had dinner, and he had eaten silently without revealing any ill-motive. No-one thought he would attack me in my parents’ house,” recounts Ms Muthau.
The assault case against her husband, which was being heard at Maua Law Courts in 2013, was mysteriously dismissed after three hearings.
The 65-year-old woman shocked everyone when, even before the scars could heal, she announced that she had forgiven her husband and went back to live with him.
“The man suddenly became very wild, at times, he appeared as if he had gone mad. I forgave him for the sake of our children. I decided to persevere and suffer silently. The assault left me helpless, and I cannot do anything on my own,” she says.
In a surprising twist, Mr Murungi announced that he would take in a third wife barely a month after the union, and before the family could get acquainted to her, he killed her and interred her remains in a shallow grave.
Following the brutal murder, irate members of public raided the homestead and razed down all houses.
Ms Muthau, was now rendered homeless, and had to find shelter in her relatives’ homes.
But as every cloud has a silver lining, in January this year, the family was informed that Mr Murungi had died while serving time at Embu GK Prison.
“Our father was a very cruel man, he would chase us from our home. His death is somehow a relief and we are now coming back,” said Mr Sebastian Mwirigi, his son.
Last Saturday, area MP John Paul Mwirigi visited the homestead and built a timber house for Ms Muthau.
But before the exercise could start, he faced a difficult task of reconciling Ms Muthau with her co-wife Savelina Mbura, and promised to also build her a house to seal the truce.
Mr Mwirigi decried increased cases of domestic violence in the area, many of which resulted in one being slashed.
“I appeal to the police to also visit remote areas to follow up on these cases, justice should not be a reserve of the rich,” he appealed.