Two Kenyan ladies were arrested after taking a newborn baby boy from a teenage mother and changing the birth notice information.
The two suspects, Judith Ingahitzu, 47, and her aunt, Florence Musimbi Abulu, 62, were arraigned at Webuye Law Courts on Monday morning, October 18, where they pleaded guilty to two counts, including Acts that Promote Child Trafficking (which carries a 30-year prison sentence or a $30 million fine), but later changed their pleas through a lawyer.
The two were apprehended by DCI’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit (AHT&CPU) investigators on Friday, October 15, 2021, acting on a tip-off provided anonymously through the DCI hotline, according to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation.
“The anonymous call from 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 statement read.
“Equally awed, detectives manning the DCI hotline centre alerted their ever ready AHT&CPU counterparts, who immediately swung into action by dispatching a team to Kakamega’s Matete area on a fact finding mission on October 14
“A day of scrupulous search in Matete area bore fruits when the 1st suspect (Judith) was spotted at her home lulling “her” bundle of joy
“The mother of four older children could hardly stand the presence of her unwelcome visitors, but her husband, with whom she has had no child over their marriage period, invited the detectives’ probe into the case
“In what would lead to the unearthing of an underworld of dreaded child traffickers who preyed on voiceless young mothers, Judith’s husband revealed that he hadn’t been aware his wife was pregnant, until she appeared holding a day-old toddler that she wouldn’t breastfeed
“Further, the birth notification provided by Judith had been altered using a white out, and the parents’ names entered by hand using a ball pen
“Persistent that she had been pregnant and that her ample proportions concealed it, detectives took the suspect to Webuye County Hospital for forensic medical examination, where three different tests conducted gave negative results of her having been pregnant.
DNA testing conducted at a separate Kisumu hospital also refuted the suspect’s claims. Judith had opened up to police like a scared mouse, exposing a second suspect, her aunt Florence.
Detectives pursued their leads to Kikuya hamlet in Vihiga, where the 67-year-old was apprehended as well.
Judith had phoned Florence earlier in the year, requesting that she find a method to bring her a kid, according to thorough interrogation of the two.
Florence, who was aware of the situation of a pregnant 17-year-old girl living with her grandmother in Vihiga’s Kaimosi neighbourhood, offered to assist.
Florence cautioned her after connecting her to a household in Kajiado’s Ongata Rongai neighbourhood.
Florence contacted the girl with a job offer as a house help in Nairobi, which the hapless kid immediately accepted.
Florence linked her to a family in Kajiado’s Ongata Rongai region and advised the young girl not to tell any of her relatives she was expecting a child, before directing the girl’s employer to release her as soon as she was ready to give birth.
The orphan girl was picked up by Florence 10 days before her due date, who stayed with her for the duration until taking her to Vihiga Health Centre on September 8, when Judith emerged and tenderised her till she gave birth to a baby boy.
Judith, who was hell-bent on stealing the baby, changed the paperwork while collecting them on behalf of the young mother, and then vanished with the baby as her aunt led the girl in circles regarding the location of the newborn.
According to the statement;”Threatened with dire consequences if she told anyone, the girl has had to live with the pain, until our detectives struck on Friday. Over the weekend, the girl was united with her baby boy, before the two were taken for medical care and rescued to safety,”
On Monday, October 25th, 2021, a bond decision will be made.
Meanwhile, other investigations are underway, including the search for the guy responsible for the girl’s pregnancy.