- Two women from Kakamega and Vihiga counties have been charged with stealing a teenager’s newborn child after delivery.
- One of them had been desperate to get a child, as she had not sired any with her husband.
Two women could face a 30-year jail term following their arrest over “stealing” a teenager’s newborn and forging of birth notification.
Judith Ingahitzu, 47 and her aunt Florence Musimbi Abulu, 62, were arrested in Kakamega and Vihiga Counties respectively on Friday.
DCI‘s Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHT&CPU) detectives cornered them after acting on intel from an anonymous tip off.
Judith allegedly appeared with a one-day old child at her home in Matete, Kakamega County, something which raised suspicion even to her husband.
“A curious member of the public, reported of a miraculous baby boy born to a village woman who, unlike the biblical Mary mother of Jesus, was never seen carrying a pregnancy,” the anonymous citizen told detectives.
Husband unaware of newborn’s origin
The sleuths visited the area on Thursday, October 14, where they spotted the “new mother” holding the infant. It appears that Judith, a mother of four other children, had not sired any with her husband.
The husband revealed that he had not been aware of his wife’s pregnancy, until she appeared with a newborn.
“The birth notification provided by Judith had been altered using a white-out, and the parents’ names entered by hand using a ball pen,” DCI adds.
Still persisting with her story, the sleuths escorted her to Webuye County Hospital where three different forensic tests revealed she had not been pregnant. To further confirm their suspicions, Judith and the baby were taken through DNA tests at a Kisumu hospital where the truth was uncovered- the newborn was not hers.
Seeing no way out, Judith ratted out her aunt Florence who had allegedly “organized” the child trafficking operation. She was arrested at her home in Kikuya village, Vihiga and taken through thorough interrogation.
Detectives established that Judith had contacted her aunt earlier in the year, asking for help to get a baby. Florence told the desperate woman that she knew of a 17-year-old expectant girl who lived with her grandmother in Kaimosi. She plotted a deal to take away the girl’s newborn in exchange of goodies.
The 62-year-old approached the girl, promising her a househelp job in Nairobi, which she fulfilled but conditionally.
“Connecting her to a family living in Kajiado’s Ongata Rongai area, Florence warned the young girl not to reveal to any of her relatives that she was expectant, before instructing the girl’s employer to release the girl back to her as soon as she was due for labor,” DCI adds.
Florence would then pick up the girl 10 days to her due date, and returned to Vihiga where she was to give birth. During her delivery at Vihiga Health Centre, Judith appeared and reportedly took care of her until she delivered a boy.
In the process of collecting necessary birth and other hospital documents for the newborn, Judith made away with the child, as her aunt was left taking the girl in circles over the whereabouts of her son.
Detectives reunited the mother with her infant and took them to a safe location.
On Monday morning, the two women were arraigned at Webuye Law Courts, where they pleaded guilty, but changed their plea in the afternoon through their lawyer.
Should the the women be found guilty of child trafficking, they may face a 30-year jail term each, or an equivalent of KSh30 million fine. Investigations are ongoing, including tracing the child’s father.
Bond ruling on the two will be delivered on October 25.