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The baby market of Pumwani maternity

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Children are being sold like bananas at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya’s biggest maternity facility.

A group of brokers tout infants and haggle over prices as if the children are merchandise.

Last evening, a 27-year-old woman was detained by police in Nairobi for attempting to sell a newborn to undercover journalists.

The woman, Ms Caroline Kathure Gitonga, spent the night at Shauri Moyo Police Station after a joint investigation by the Daily Nation and NTV exposed her attempt to sell the baby, whom she claimed was hers, shortly after being discharged from the hospital.

The investigation exposes a well-oiled and daring baby theft and smuggling syndicate operating within the corridors of the hospital.

It was not clear whether the hospital staff are part of the syndicate, but the brokers claim to act on behalf of mothers and they operate freely within the hospital.

MONEY WOES

In a dramatic probe that started from Nation Centre on Kimathi Street in the city and ended at Pumwani Hospital,  journalists who posed as buyers sealed the purchase for the eight-day-old baby for a meagre Sh50,000.

The day of drama started with a mid-morning call to the undercover journalists indicating that a broker had identified a woman who was willing to sell her baby boy.

Journalists rushed to the hospital, but Ms Gitonga said she was uncomfortable discussing the “deal” within the hospital, and so she had asked to be discharged.

She had travelled from Meru to Nairobi to deliver the baby, who weighed 2.8 kilogrammes at birth.

Our team waited for her to be discharged while at the same time alerting police officers and child welfare staff of the impending transaction.

Outside the hospital, Ms Gitonga explained to the journalists that she wanted to sell her baby because she had financial problems. She has two other children, she explained.

“Niko na shida, na sina wazazi (I have a lot of problems, and I am an orphan,” she said.

DEAL

Ms Gitonga initially asked for Sh70,000 for the baby, but after a short session of bargaining, held at a restaurant near the hospital, agreed to Sh50,000.

She had her name tag and hospital documents to show that the baby was hers, but she had not named the little bundle of joy she cradled in her arms.

Asked what we should name him, Ms Gitonga answered: “Mtampatia jina wenyewe. Si sasa ni wenu? (You will name him as you wish. He is now yours.)

Reporters kept Ms Gitonga engaged after reaching the sale agreement, convincing her to wait a little longer for the money since the full amount was not available immediately, and that someone was bringing the balance.

Unknown to her, reporters were waiting for child welfare officers to come and rescue the baby.

Ms Gitonga was arrested and her baby taken into the custody of the emergency rescue and rapid response officers as police investigate whether the baby is, indeed, hers.

nation.co.ke

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CJ Maraga rejects Senator Malala’s three-goat gift 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday turned down Kakamega Senator Cleaophas Malala’s three goat gift citing the Judicial Service Commission code of conduct that bars him from receiving a gift worth more than Sh20,000.

CJ Maraga had graced the Grand opening of the new Kakamega Law Courts building when he was presented with the gift.

“Today on behalf of the people of Kakamega and as the Senator for Kakamega. I want to present to you a symbolic gift that is going to help you achieve this legacy.

“I have three animals here representing three arms of the government. I want to present it to you as a symbolic gift representing unity among the the three arms of the government.” said Senator Malala

The CJ who instead handed the goats to Kakamega law courts users’ committee chairman Sylvester Mambiri also sited Malala’s ongoing court case.

“If am not wrong, the senator has donated a gift to me but he has put me in trouble because I think he has a case in court, secondly under the Judiciary code of conduct I am not allowed to take a gift which is more than 20,000 shillings and this goats look like they are more than 30,000.” the CJ said

During the event, the CJ steered clear of the controversy over his advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failure to legislate on the two-thirds gender rule.

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ODM MP suspended for attending Ruto’s meeting

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has suspended Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya days after he attended Deputy President William Ruto’s meeting.

The MP was accused of switched alliances and teaming up with DP William Ruto and the party had resolved to take action on the MP over what they called “recent political alignments.”

In a statement through the Party’s Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, the party announced that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had also decided to suspend Baya from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary.

The party explained that the decision was made after his recent move which has cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives.

“Cognizant of the central role that the party’s NEC plays in the management of the party and the need to maintain the probity of its deliberations the NEC resolved to suspend MP Owen Baya from membership of this critical organ and from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary given his recent public utterances and conduct that have cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives,” read a statement from the party.

On Wednesday, Baya was part of a delegation of Coast MPs that escorted Feisal Abdallah Bader, an aspirant for the Msambweni parliamentary seat, to meet Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office.

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Atwoli intensifies fight with DP Ruto over hustler tag

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has once again put Deputy President William Ruto on blast for using the ‘hustler’ tag.

Speaking during a press conference, the Atwoli stated that the tag hustler had a negative meaning which translates to someone who uses mischievous ways to get wealth.

He added that all Kenyans are yearning for is an organized system of government that could provide employment and not creating hustlers.

He pointed out that William Ruto was not poor as he makes his supporters believe and he is just using them to climb to the top. He disclosed that William Ruto owns choppers, mansions, and every space in the country.

Atwoli went on to call out the DP for the donations he has been giving out to the youths and women stating that they were just peanuts compared to the amount of wealth he has amassed over the years.

“The person telling you about being a hustler owns five choppers, a mansion and owns every empty space in the republic of Kenya. You are calling yourself a hustler and yet you are not. Even God cannot allow. Then you go to the church to cheat about being a hustler,” he said.

A few days ago, Atwoli blasted William Ruto for using the tag while asking Kenyans to reject him stating that no one should allow themselves to be called a hustler. He claimed that hustlers are thieves.

Atwoli who claimed that he would disown his children if they referred themselves as hustlers stated that people should go to school, get an education and get jobs in reputable companies instead of hustling.

“You then become a branch manager of Kenya Breweries, get a house allowance, a car loan, and have a nice house. You are not hustlers. We cannot have a nation of hustlers because it is a man eats man society,” Atwoli said.

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