VIDEO: Sh7,000 for a baby? Suspect in KNH theft had a buyer - Kenya Satellite News Network
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VIDEO: Sh7,000 for a baby? Suspect in KNH theft had a buyer

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The woman suspected of stealing a baby from Kenyatta National Hospital on Sunday planned to sell the infant for Sh7,000.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation Tuesday, 29-year-old Edinah Kemunto, who had initially given her name as Faith Kwamboka, said she already had a customer, whom she only named as Jennifer.

She said she was handed the baby by a cousin of the infant’s father at the hospital but was later “tricked” by Jennifer to escape with the baby to the Kawangware neighbourhood of Nairobi.

Jennifer, she added, is her friend.

BABY TRADE

Her confession opened the lid on a secretive, well-oiled baby-trading underworld coordinated from the corridors of Kenya’s maternity wards. Many parents have lost their new-borns this way and, often, the suspects are never apprehended.

This theft, curiously, also happened right under the collective nose of Kenyatta National Hospital’s recently beefed-up security, which faced public fire last month over allegations of sexual harassment of mothers within the facility.

The boy was stolen as his parents were being attended to by doctors. Her twin sister remained at the hospital, and on Monday the father confided to us that he had kept his wife in the dark over the matter as he feared the trauma could cause her post-birth complications.

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CCTV CAMERAS

Ms Kemunto confessed that she escaped with the baby as instructed by Jennifer, the woman captured on CCTV cameras walking out of the hospital with the baby in her arms.

“I had gone to the hospital for a check-up because I developed complications after giving birth to my baby, who died in February last year,” Ms Kemunto said.

The greengrocer from Kigawi in Keroka, Kisii County, said she handed the baby to Jennifer outside the hospital and that, from there, they headed to Jennifer’s house in the Kongo area of Kawangware.

“After I returned to my house, I realised that I had done a mistake and I went back to Jennifer’s house to try and convince her that we should return the baby,” she told the Nation.

“I told her that, even though we had agreed that she was going to pay me, I was not happy about what we had done.”

TAKE BABY BACK

On Monday, Ms Kemunto asked Jennifer to let her take the baby back to KNH Tuesday morning as the infant had been surviving on infant formula, she said.

“But this (Tuesday) morning, as I was washing the baby, police came to my house and arrested me. I have tried calling Jennifer several times but her phone is off,” Ms Kemunto said.

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Police from Kilimani Police Station, led by the Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer Phyllis Kanina, arrested Kemunto at her house and took her to the police station, where she was last evening being processed for arraignment.

Ms Kanina said police received a tip-off from a caller from Kawangware who said he had spotted the baby at the woman’s house.

“We mobilised police officers and moved to the house, where we found her. The baby was sleeping on the couch,” Ms Kanina said.

PARENTS ELATED

At the hospital, the baby’s parents, Mr Job Ouko and Ms Jane Kerubo, were elated after their baby was found.

“I had just finished an interview with a local TV station when a woman called me saying she had seen the interview and wanted to confidentially alert me of a neighbour who had recently returned home with a baby in suspicious circumstances,” said Mr Ouko.

Mr Ouko said after the call he was escorted by a friend to Kawangware chief’s camp, from where they proceeded to Ms Kemunto’s house.

Members of the public thronged the chief’s camp, baying for the suspect’s blood, but police officers dispersed them before driving off with the suspect.

“I’m overwhelmed with joy,” said Mr Ouko.

“This is a nightmare that has finally come to an end.”

READ ALSO:   Kenyan woman charged with putting poison in employer’s medicine

The management of KNH refused to allow us to interview the mother, saying she and her baby were under medical observation.

Source: nation.co.ke

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Will Obado get bail today?

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Migori Governor Okoth Obado returns to court today seeking to be released on bail pending trial for the murder of university student Sharon Otieno.

Obado has denied charges of murdering Sharon on September 3 at Kodera Forest in Oyugis, Homa Bay County.

Obado, his personal assistant Michael Oyamo and Migori County clerk Caspal Obiero are jointly chargedwith the murder of Sharon and her seven-month-old foetus, Baby Sharon.

The governor has been in custody since September 22.

Political career

His fate lies in the hands of Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit, who can either rule to release him and his co-accused on bail or send them back to remand.

Should the judge deny them bail, it would compound matters for Obado and further threaten his political career.

Justice Lesiit had declined Obado’s first application for bail on September 27. In his second application, Obado pleaded through lawyers Nicholas Ombija, Cliff Ombeta and Rodgers Sagana for the judge to reconsider her earlier decision.

The lawyers are optimistic that their client will be granted bail this time.

“The main reason he was denied bail was because the prosecution had not supplied the committal bundle and exhibits they will rely on. But since all these have been supplied, there is no compelling reason to deny him bail again,” said Ombija.

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Mr Ombija submitted that Obado’s continued detention at Industrial Area Remand Prison had caused him and his family much suffering. He said Obado would not interfere with witnesses if released.

The lawyers said the governor was facing serious health problems that could only be addressed if he was out on bail.

“He has a severe spinal problem, which needs constant medical attention. Since the prosecution has secured all evidence, the governor has no intention of interfering with anyone and will abide by all conditions set by the court,” said Mr Sagana.

Neville Amollo, the lawyer for Oyamo, accused the prosecution of using evidence reserved for trial to deny the accused bail. He urged the court to disregard the materials since they did not constitute any compelling reason to warrant his client’s continued detention.

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Monica murder: GSU officer to become witness

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The General Service Unit officer arrested over the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani is likely to become a witness.

Police officers investigating the killing of the 28-year-old have concluded that Mr Jennings Orlando, 31, did not visit Monica’s house on September 19.

The officers have visited various places with Orlando as part of their investigations. These include his place of work, at the Recce Squad headquarters in Ruiru, a bar along Denis Pritt Road, a petrol station and the scene of the murder.

TV journalist Jacque Maribe and her fiancé, Joseph Irungu aka Jowie, have denied a murder charge and are expected in court today for the hearing of their bail application.

Orlando was arrested on Thursday and presented in court, which allowed the police to detain him for 14 days. Sources said Orlando was among officers attached to the US embassy and was a member of the Special Programme for Embassy Augmentation and Response.

This is a team composed of GSU officers whose mission is to respond to critical incidents involving US mission facilities and personnel in the country.

Monica’s body was found in a bathtub with her throat slit. The police suspect she had been drugged. The murder weapon has yet to be recovered.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan woman charged with putting poison in employer’s medicine

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Traces of cotton left in woman abdomen after operation

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When Irene Joyce Oluoch, 25, got pregnant with twins, she could hardly wait to hold them in her arms.

On the due date, she checked into the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu for a caesarean section.

“l went through the operation and all was well. I was soon discharged from the hospital and was home with my twins,” says Mrs Oluoch.

As she settled down to raising her babies, nothing could have prepared her for the health problems that lay ahead.

Traces of cotton, which had been left in her abdomen, would make her life miserable, and in devastated state.

“After six days, l started feeling a sharp pain in my lower abdomen. At first I thought it was normal to feel pains in the stomach considering I was healing after going through an operation,” says the mother of four.

Her condition got worse and soon she was grappling with a severe and prolonged coughing fit besides intense chest pains.

“I had to go back to the same hospital, where I went through a series of tests that yielded nothing,” she says, adding that she was taken to the intensive care unit when she developed breathing difficulties.

She spent three days at the ICU and another two weeks in the general ward.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan woman charged with putting poison in employer’s medicine

“I had severe pains in the lower abdomen, and breathing difficulties, forcing me to use an inhaler. The coughs could last for five minutes, while my body swelled whenever I had a meal. I just couldn’t understand what was happening in my body,” says the second-hand shoe-seller, who had to abandon her source of livelihood because of her ill health.

She adds: “After consulting several specialists in Kisumu, a doctor recommended a CT scan and an examination of the lower abdomen.”

Her husband, Mr Bernard Oluoch, says the specialist was reluctant to reveal to them the results of the scan, “but he finally told us there were traces of cotton in the lower abdomen which needed an urgent surgical operation.”

“We went to the referral hospital with the results, and the doctor in charge scheduled the operation after a month, but it is now seven months since my wife started developing these complications,” says Mr Oluoch. The security guard quit his job to take care of his wife and children.

The couple are asking well-wishers to help them get medical attention.

According to the hospital boss, Dr Peter Okoth, the delay in attending to Mrs Oluoch was caused by the need to investigate the case and check the history of the patient.

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“We are arranging to have the patient back in hospital because of the complications that have emerged,” he says.

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