Woman bought cake, wrote five-page suicide note before killing self and two children

Late Mary Mulombe with her late daughter Francisca Maua, in an undated photo. Mulombe poisoned Maua, 5, and her younger sister Mbinya, 2, before taking her own life at her marital home in Katitika, Murang’a County on January 16, 2022. She left a suicide note, accusing her husband of infidelity. [Courtesy]

Mary Mulombe, who poisoned her two children before committing suicide at her Kititika village home in Murang’a County on Sunday had not shown any signs of distress. 

Ms Dormitila Waeni, a sister-in-law to the 28-year-old, said they had a lengthy conversation the previous day, discussing various issues, but Ms Mulombe never mentioned she was having problems with her husband.

In a suicide note she left behind, Mulombe accused her husband Christopher Masila Kituku, a Kenya Defence Forces officer based at the Coast, of infidelity which was the main reason that she took her life and those of their children.

Ms Mulombe was a devout Christian and a committed member of the local St Charles Lwanga Catholic Church. However, on the fateful day, she did not go to church. She woke up early in the morning and started sweeping her compound, according to her farmhand Paul Nzioki.

Later on, she ordered a heart-shaped cake from a vendor at Ngelelyia shopping centre. The case was delivered to her by a motorbike rider. She had also ordered a bunch of flowers which was brought together with the cake.

“She even invited me to share the cake. I asked her whose birthday was it but she said it was no one’s birthday. She told me she bought the cake after her children had demanded one. That marked the last time I saw them alive,” said Nzioki.

The girls were five-year-old Francisca Maua and Abigael Mbinye, who was two years old.

Later, Ms Mulombe locked herself and her daughters in the house. The cake, it emerged, would be the last meal the three would share. 

Police suspect the woman laced the cake with an insecticide before feeding it to the girls. Ms Mulombe’s body was found hanging in her bedroom while her children were forming from the mouth and nose in their bed. They were in matching outfits.

Ms Mulombe left a five-page suicide note in which she listed 14 reasons she decided to commit suicide and poison her children, key among them being her husband’s alleged unfaithfulness.

In the note, Mulombe listed the names of five women she accused her husband of six years of having affairs with. She termed it betrayal but assured her husband of “my undying love even in death”.

The police said Kituku is currently deployed in Kiunga, Lamu County. Kiunga falls in the area under the security operation to flush out terrorists from Boni forest. He is a member of the Kenya Army 17 battalion.

“She indicated in her suicide note that she could not share her husband with five other women and that is why she decided to commit suicide. She disclosed that she had Sh80,000 in her M-Pesa and another Sh100,000 in her bank account whose ATM she had put together with the note. She went ahead to provide the PIN number to the M-Pesa and the ATM,” Ithanga police boss John Ogallo said on Monday.

In the suicide note, Mulombe gave her husband the go-ahead to withdraw the money and “use it to please your concubines”. 

Ogallo said they are still investigating the incident although initial investigations indicated that the woman poisoned her children before hanging herself.

Mulombe’s husband is said to have called his mother after he failed to reach his wife on phone. Together with the farmhand, Mulombe’s mother-in-law opened her door using a spare key and their shock, the woman and her lastborn were dead while the firstborn still fighting for her life. She died minutes later in the arms of her traumatised grandmother.

The house had a strong smell of pesticide. 

“When my mother got into the house, the firstborn had not died but she was foaming from the mouth and nose. She lay in grandmother’s arms and called her three times before she died. It was already too late to do anything to save them,” Ms Waeni said.

She added: “When we spoke, she was jovial as usual. There was no indication of a problem. I didn’t even know about the claims of infidelity. We had a wonderful conversation and she even promised to soon pay back a loan I had secured for her from a group in Kangundo. She was like a sister to me.”

Neighbours described Ms Mulombe as a cheerful, jovial and welcoming person who was also a committed St Charles Lwanga Catholic Church member who never missed a mass.

She never shared her problems with anybody, not even family members. Those around her had the impression that her marriage was working perfectly.

The three bodies were moved to General Kago Funeral Home at the Thika Level Five Hospital awaiting postmortem.

Area county executive for health Joseph Mbai lamented that cases of suicide were on the rise in the county, adding: “Last year, we had 20 suicide cases and this month alone we have about six. The county health ministry in conjunction with community health workers have been asked to start sensitizing our people on how to deal with stress and depression,” Mbai said.

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