For nine months, 31-year-old Wesley Rono acted a fool as his wife Patricia faked pregnancy.
But when his 25-year-old wife, came home with a baby in her arms, Mr Rono decided to end his wife’s deception show.
The couple from Ogilgei in Kuresoi North Constituency, Nakuru County, were childless for five years so the woman bought a baby, an act that has now not only landed her in trouble with the law but left her marriage hanging by a thread.
“When my wife broke the news to me in December 2020 that she was expecting our first child, I was very excited. However, soon afterwards, I noticed she was stuffing clothes around her belly to give an impression that she was expectant,” said Rono.
The farmer and small-time businessman in Kuresoi trading centre despite figuring out the deception decided to play it cool.
“Whenever I wanted to touch her belly to feel the baby bump, my wife would get angry. She wouldn’t even allow me to touch or come close to her,” said Rono.
Even though he already knew that his wife wasn’t pregnant, Rono said he provided everything his wife asked for during the nine-month period.
“This included money to go for the fake prenatal clinics, and also money to buy clothes for the baby and other essentials,” he said.
Rono said on August 8, the due date of the purported delivery, his wife asked him for money to go to Kericho County Hospital.
“She left by herself promising to call and update me about the delivery progress. I was shocked when she called later in the evening telling me that she had delivered a baby and was already at Chepseon trading centre on her way back home,” he said.
“My wife’s audacity stunned me even more. Even the strongest woman in the world cannot have the strength to immediately wake up from the maternity bed after 30 minutes of giving birth and board a public vehicle to return home.”
Rono said he sat back and waited for his wife to bring the baby home.
But his wife decided to go to her paternal home in Londiani, Kipkelion East Constituency, to recuperate for a few days.
She finally showed up four days later carrying a baby boy in her arms.
“When I arrived home that evening, I found her with the baby who didn’t look like a four-day-old child,” said Rono.
That’s when Rono decided to end the nine-month show by reporting the case at Kericho police station on August 12.
“The entries in the prenatal book were forgeries. My wife had tried to fool me, which is unforgivable,” said Rono.
Mrs Rono confessed that she was barren and that the baby, now in the custody of Kericho Police Gender officers, was not her biological child.
“I had heard from villagers about an old woman in Kiptororo village who sells children. I visited her and told her of my wish. She asked for Sh50,000 to give me a baby,” she said.
Mrs Rono said she paid a Sh2,600 deposit the day she visited the suspected child trafficker at her home.
Since Mrs Rono didn’t have cash, the woman agreed to exchange the baby with a tea seedling worth the amount.
And when police officers visited the suspect’s home, they noticed she had recently planted tea on a portion of her land. The suspect is also said to be notorious for procuring abortions in the village.
Mrs Rono told the police that she supplied the woman with the tea seedlings on August 10, and thereafter, picked the three-week-old baby at night.
“What forced me to do it was just a desire to have a baby I can call my own and save my marriage,” she said.
Mrs Rono said she knew of her barrenness in 2015 after a visit to a gynaecologist.
“In 2018, I underwent medical operations to unblock my fallopian tubes, but still I couldn’t conceive. I had no option but to resort to doing what I did,” she said.
Mrs Rono confirmed her husband’s claims that she had stuffed her belly to fake a pregnancy.
“I got the prenatal booklet during my first visit to a local dispensary. After the nurse filled in the primary information, I did not wait for a medical examination that confirms the pregnancy. I left the facility with the booklet, and I have been filling it by copying notes from another woman’s booklet,” she said.
A joint raid by police officers from Kericho and Kuresoi police stations failed to arrest the suspected child trafficker. The suspect’s phone was traced to Kisii County.
Her hostile daughter, who was at home, did not want to be questioned.
“We don’t know who you are and what you want. Leave us alone, we don’t want to be disturbed,” she said.
Also at the compound was a weakly young woman who claimed that she was the suspect’s granddaughter.
The suspect had called her in the midst of the raid inquiring about the officers’ business and whether they were still around.
Kericho County Criminal Investigations Officer John Onyango said they were working with their Kuresoi counterparts to pursue the suspect since the area falls under their jurisdiction.