Certainties are her injuries and the bounties that came after.
All the rest needs testing for propaganda
Half-healed flesh on her face, texture of meringue,
Hacked hands for surgeons to finish off
New life, limpet-like, clinging to her womb,
Photos with smiling hangers-on
House, shop and South Korean op to sew on new hands,
Paid by public funds and private donor
Maybe revenge for adultery, vengeance for infertility,
Though the issue with the plumbing’s only his
Else she’s a ‘loose leg’, opening so readily
Someone short-changed came back for more
This week Stephen Ngila will appear in court in Kenya charged with causing grievous injury to his estranged wife Jackline Mwende. In July 2016 Mwende was left for dead by a panga-wielding attacker who mutilated her face and all but severed her hands; hospital doctors later took the decision to amputate at the wrist.
Kenyan MPs came out in support of Mwende and her case has been taken up by German pharmaceutical company Merck, sponsors of More Than A Mother, the campaign to improve infertility treatment and remove the stigma of infertility in African culture.
Mwende herself is now heavily pregnant, her baby having been conceived shortly before the attack took place. But the defendant’s sister insists that Stephen Ngila was with her at the time when Mwende was assaulted. It has been suggested that the attack was the result of ‘a business deal gone wrong’.