High School Girl Whose Arms Were Hacked Out By Her Boyfriend, Learns To Live Again

Martha Mbulungo used to look sensational. She was a beautiful girl in Form Three at Yumbisye Mixed Day Secondary School, Kenya, until her boyfriend made an everlasting change to her life in a vicious attack that took place on October 21, 2013.

On that disastrous day, her then boyfriend Wilson Kyalo who was a Form Four student at Kyanika Day School came to her house and had asked her to join him to a chemist shop.

They were walking along a narrow path when he attacked her with a matchet. He slashed her right breast with the cutlass before finally knifing both her arms. The motive of the attack is still a mystery to her even today.

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Mbulungo recalled:

“He led me on a path leading to a building under construction. Suddenly he cut me on the forehead and went on to cut me several times, severing my hands, cutting my breasts and leaving me for dead,’’

The 17-year-old girl said her assailant boyfriend had wanted her dead.

“This is a day I would not like to remember as the suffering I got in the hands of my then boyfriend and fellow congregant at Jehovah Witness Church is still fresh and vivid in my mind. I fell down but he continued cutting me severally, chopping my arms off. Were it not for Gender Based Violence Rescue Centre (GBV-R) in Nairobi, I could not have survived to tell this story.”

Martha Mbulungo

Martha Mbulungo was rushed to Kitui General Hospital  at the time doctors were on strike so she endured for hours with little help, with her mother Mary Mbulungo by her side. This was after a good Samaritan called her mom after 30 mins of the incident. Martha recalls:

“I writhed in pain from fresh wounds in the arms and the right breast for two weeks until I asked God to take my life.”

Mary made sure Martha took all the prescribed pain killers for two weeks until Christine Vethi of Kitui Girl Child project and Florence Ndeti Kitui Catholic Diocese’ Peace and Justice Department came to their help.

The women with the church made full arrangement for Martha Mbulungo to be moved to Nairobi Women’s Hospital where she was admitted and treated with full support from the rescue centre for a good number of weeks.

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The suspect, Wilson Kyalo, was arraigned in court where he faced two counts of attempted murder and causing actual bodily harm to Martha. Within the three years the trial lasted, Mary declined the offer made to her by the accused family to have the case settled out of court or even to force Wilson marry her. She says:

“God stood with me and the verdict showed that justice delayed is not always justice denied.”

The 23-year-old man was convicted of the two charges and was sentenced to a life sentence with 14 days to appeal by Kitui Principal Magistrate Esther Boke.

“I knelt down, wept and thanked God for answering my prayers that the court imposes a heavy penalty on Wilson for chopping off both my arms and destroying my life. I have learned the hard way to write, eat, wash and do everything for myself so as to move on with life,” says Martha.

After two years of torment and agony, she begged her single mother to take her back to school.

Martha’s mother enrolled her in Thika’s Joytown Secondary School for the Physically Handicapped. She is a Form Two student in the school where she is learning how to cope with her new life; permanent paralysis. As of yet, Martha Mbulungo is expected to go back to school to start her second term.