Written by Timothy Makokha
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Drama ensued in Mukuyuni, Bungoma County when a 55 year old woman went to the house of her son-in-law to be and on reaching, she undressed and entered the man’s house and slept on the son-in-laws bed while screaming that the man cannot sleep with her daughter.
She screamed and ordered the son-in-law in waiting to have sex with her claiming that the young man cannot sleep with her daughter. “Let him come and sleep on me but not on my daughter,” said Mama Naliaka.
The incident attracted the attention of neighbors who wanted to know what the matter was. Her action was seen as an abomination according to the Bukusu cultural beliefs.
This occurred a day before dowry payments were to be made as wedding arrangements were already in progress. The wedding between her daughter and Tom Wefula was to take place sometime next month. The clan elders advised the young man to look for another girl for marriage, but not the one whose mother had come and showed her nakedness to them.
Generally, Mama Naliaka has a bad history. Before 1997 they were staying at Bukembe but she kept on advising her husband that relatives are bewitching her, so her husband decided to sell all the land and move away from ‘witches’. They then bought a new piece of land at Maliki in Trans Nzoia district and settled there.
Clan members knew she was only looking for a way of escaping responsibility of taking care of her elderly mother-in-law who was under her care. At that time she had developed a contemptuous attitude towards the old lady (mother-in-law). She could deny her food and refuse to clean her house.
According to the clan’s regulations, it is the responsibility of the last born child (son) to take care of parents when they are very old. And Mama Naliaka being the wife to the last born son of the old lady, she had all the responsibility of caring for her mother-in-law but it is like she became tired of the duties allocated to her by the clan and husband.
As they were packing to migrate from Bukembe, they left the mother-in-law behind but lucky enough she was picked by her eldest son who built a house for her.
5 years later in the year 2002 as they were staying at Maliki, she started quarrelling with neighbors and accused them of witch craft. She again advised her husband to sell all the Maliki land and buy land at a better land without witches. The husband followed instructions and sold the land and bought a new piece of land at Moi’s bridge.
The family then settled at Moi’s bridge. Last year, Waswa Simon, her first born son married a girl of his choice but according to Mama Naliaka, the girl was not suitable for his son. She advised Waswa to chase his wife but the boy refused as he was in love with lady and was determined to keep her for a wife.
One day she waited for her son to go to work as usual, confronted the young lady and chased her away. When Waswa returned in the evening from work, he did not find his wife. He then knew his mother must have sent her away.
The pain of losing a spouse was too much for Simon to bear and so he decided to commit suicide. Lucky enough, he was rescued by his young brother who saw him struggling in pain. They then rushed him to Webuye district hospital where he was admitted for two weeks after which he recovered and discharged.
The consequences we suffer for marrying unruly wives who overrule everything in the home. Sometimes you never know the pain we suffer in our quest for marriage.
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