Mohammed Mwarandu Kombe when he appeared before a Mombasa Court on May 8, 2024. Kombe has been jailed for 30 years for splashing acid on his girlfriend for rejecting him.
Mohammed Mwarandu Kombe when he appeared before a Mombasa Court on May 8, 2024. Kombe has been jailed for 30 years for splashing acid on his girlfriend for rejecting him.

Jilted man jailed for 30 years for blinding ex-girlfriend with acid

A man in Kenya, Mohamed Mwarandu Kombe, has been handed a 30-year prison sentence for splashing acid on his ex-girlfriend, Fatuma Kaingu, resulting in her permanent blindness.


The incident occurred after Ms. Kaingu ended their brief relationship.

During the sentencing at Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate's court, Gladys Olimo highlighted the irreparable harm caused to Ms. Kaingu's life, stating that she will never regain her eyesight and will miss out on everyday activities due to Kombe's actions.

“It is quite unfortunate that Ms Kaingu will never enjoy the sense of vision which is one of the most important senses. For the rest of her life, she will not enjoy everyday activities like hobbies. She shall no longer see the beauty of the world,” said the magistrate.

“It is against this backdrop that this court is in agreement with the state that a deterrent sentence is necessary in the circumstance of this case. Consequently, Kombe is sentenced to serve 30 years imprisonment. Right of appeal is 14 days,” said Ms Olimo.

Despite Kombe's defense claiming the substance was liquid soap used in self-defense during a confrontation, the court rejected this explanation, citing overwhelming evidence of grievous harm inflicted on Ms. Kaingu. The prosecution emphasized the need for a stringent sentence, considering the severity of the offense and its lasting impact on the victim.

Kombe's plea for leniency, citing his family responsibilities, was not considered by the court, which underscored the necessity for him to face the consequences of his actions through a custodial sentence.

“I know Kombe has a young family. However, it is of interest to know the aggravating circumstances obtained in this case. The complainant completely lost her eyesight as a result of the accused actions,” said the magistrate.

The court also observed that the complainant's testimony was adequately supported by medical evidence indicating that her conjunctiva was infected, red, swollen, and with a laceration on the upper lid.

“Given that the conjunctiva was infected, red, and swollen, and the complainant's testimony that she has completely lost her eyesight and the medical evidence, it is sufficient proof that the injuries sustained endangered her life and extended to permanent disfigurement,” said the magistrate.

Ms Kaingu was at the time working as a house help in the neighbourhood.

The court heard that on the material day, Kombe followed her to the house and sprinkled the acid on her face.

“Before the incident, the two were in a relationship, but Maingu had communicated to the accused person that she was not interested in the relationship anymore,” said the officer, while being cross-examined by state counsel Hillary Isiaho.

Kombe then became upset with the complainant’s move and decided to harm her as a way of revenge.

“He splashed a chemical onto the victim’s face at night after he met her,” she told the court.

However, Kombe denied the offenses, claiming he did not harm the victim.

He explained that he had purchased liquid soap, which he used to defend himself by splashing it on the victim's face.

"It was not acid, but liquid soap. The victim had attacked me with a stone, and I splashed the water on her in self-defence," he stated.

Kombe mentioned that the victim did not suffer any injuries when he left her because he had also used non-harmful liquid soap.

He acknowledged being with the victim on the day in question and trying to calm her down after their disagreement.


"The victim was unharmed when I departed. We had a dispute, but I did not harm her," he clarified.

Nevertheless, the court rejected his defense, citing numerous contradictions.

“Kombe’s defense consists of half-truths and twisted facts and mere afterthoughts. I find the offense of grievous harm has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. I do find him guilty as charged and accordingly convict him,” said the magistrate.

Mr Isiaho requested the court to impose a strict sentence that would serve as a deterrent, considering that the accused's actions deprived the victim of her bodily autonomy and light.


“We urge that the accused receive a prison term that reflects the seriousness of the offense he has committed and the lasting impact it has had on the victim,” stated the prosecutor.

On the other hand, Kombe appealed for leniency, expressing concern for his young family that required his care.

“I got married just last year, I have a young family with a child.  I implore the court to show me mercy,” he pleaded.

Despite Kombe's plea for mercy and leniency, the court disregarded it, emphasizing that he must face a custodial sentence for the consequences of his actions.


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