A woman who died Monday while being treated at a hospital in Machakos after taking poison had fled her property three days ago, The Nation has established. Elizabeth Mumbua, 60, died shortly after being admitted to Kangundo Sub-County Hospital.
The treasurer of a regional banking group was under enormous pressure to give up the 300,000 shillings members of the group had raised over the course of the year.
The trouble started last Tuesday after the band reconciled its books. It is suspected that the farmer embezzled the money. Matetani chief Mary Njeri told Nation that the mother-of-two ran away from home three days before taking the poison.
"She fought for her life in the hospital after taking the poison. But we have lost her since then," Kangundo district police commander Zacharia Bitok said by phone. He said an investigation has been opened into the incident.
Among those who reported to police on Sunday was her husband, Joseph Muya. Mr. Muya revealed that the group demanded 300,000 shillings from his wife before the matter broke.
“After the band reconciled their books on Tuesday, she promised to take advantage of the money on Wednesday. However, she fled on Wednesday morning without specifying her destination. We are in the dark. We assume she took out a loan,” Mr. Muya said. "Three days later, on Sunday morning, we were shocked to find her purse next to the barn. Her footprints led us to an abandoned house near the farm where she lay. We also found two bottles of mosquito repellent," said Mr. Muya.
A doctor who joined the group treating the mother-of-two said she had eaten a lot of poison. The body was transferred to the Kangundo Sub-County Hospital morgue to await an autopsy. The death has put members of the table banking group in a predicament.
Groups come to help households in financial difficulty. It has been identified that the deceased is one of the group's founders, one of many in the region. It is more than five years old, said a member of the Table banking group. Alleged mismanagement caused the original team to split in two.
The deceased was the treasurer of one of two groups whose members met on Tuesday to come up with subsidized loans and service existing loans.
The members of the table banking groups split the proceeds from their annual activities or buy food and supplies that they distribute to each other before the Christmas festivities.
Media was unable to immediately give the group's next course of action as the group's members and management remained silent following the double tragedy that befell them. “We do not have time to discuss the table of the banking group. We are working on planning the funeral,” said Muya.
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