The worrying cases of family conflicts leading to injury and deaths in Kenya.


By Jane Beatrice Obila

A day cannot go by without a reported case of a person victimized by either his/her parent, grandparent, sibling, or biological child. The recent case is that of a Kakamega man who burnt his 89-year-old grandmother to death over an elderly cash stipend and not forgetting the shuttering baby Sagini’s story.

Even though it is understandable that a family is composed of people with different personalities which may result in misunderstandings, how the differences are solved matters, and this is where this article is starting from.

Most of these inhuman acts have been attributed to drug and substance abuse, inheritance issues, and conflicts that are not solved peacefully. According to the survey conducted by the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) in 2019, the average age of onset of at least one drug and substance abuse in Kenya is 11 years and the lowest age of onset of at least one drug is 4 years indicating that we are at higher risk of experiencing similar cases.

It is worrying that the news of children abusing drugs and killing parents who bore and raised them is common despite the warnings even in the religious books such as the Bible that we should not murder and encourage us to obey parents for our days to be increased on Earth.

It is not only children who do this but also parents and other grownups as well.

It is sad that after the ordeal is when villagers or people close to the victim report how the offender used to abuse drugs and physically assault the dead person. Where has humanity gone? What if they reported the offender to police officers earlier or took him to a rehabilitation center?  At least a life would have been saved. We can change the situation by being our brother’s keeper.

It is our responsibility to create awareness about the dangers of drug and substance abuse in the country to curb such menace. According to United Nations (UN), substance abuse has many negatives physiological and psychological health effects which can be prevented by creating awareness.

Conflicts resulting from  property after the death of a loved one is  another cause of ‘blood’ killings in Kenya. When we look at baby Sagini’s case, his eyes were gouged out over a land dispute violating article 40 of the Constitution which stipulates that every person has the right to acquire and own property. Further illustrating that no law shall be enacted permitting anyone to arbitrarily deprive a person of property of any description or restrict in any way the enjoyment of the right.

To avoid inheritance disputes in the family, there is a need for people to write a will of how they want their wealth to be distributed to stop such disputes and killings. According to pension administrator Enwealth Financial Services, six out of 10 people in Kenya don’t have a will leaving their families vulnerable to inheritance conflicts. It is, however, sad that even when the rightful inheritor is known, death cases still occur. Brutish people behind such acts should be dealt with firmly as stated by the law.

We should always remember that nobody is allowed to take the law into his/her hand, but due procedures should be followed by reporting family feuds to security personnel who will ensure justice is served.

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