Three people, including the mother of an eight-month-old baby reported to have disappeared a few weeks ago, were yesterday charged in Mombasa with stealing the child.
The State said it believed Joyce Wairimu Wahome of Mishomoroni, Mombasa, sold her baby, Consolata Wambui, to Margaret Wairimu Kihiko of Molo.
The two women were charged alongside Margaret’s mother, Susan Nyambura Gihumbi. Wahome was also charged with giving false information to police when she reported the disappearance of the baby.
The three women are also charged with conspiring to commit a felony besides jointly misleading investigating officers with the intention of defeating justice.
On November 10, Wahome announced that her baby had been stolen, only for police to trace her to Molo, where they (police) said they believed she (Wahome) had sold her for Sh80,000.
Wahome was accompanied by a Peter Kairu, identified as her husband, during the press conference. Kairu was, however, missing in court yesterday and another man claimed paternity of the child.
The three denied all the charges leveled against them and pleaded to be freed on bail.
The prosecution opposed their release, saying police were still investigating them and others whom they believed were connected to a child trafficking syndicate between Kenya and Uganda.
The prosecution also said that releasing the three would compromise investigations since witnesses had yet to be put under protection.
Kihiko and Gihumbi denied receiving the girl on condition that they concealed an offence of child stealing committed by the child’s mother.
Kihiko told the court that the girl’s father handed the child to her while she was at a bus stage travelling to Molo.
“The father wanted to kill the child and kill himself, so I pleaded with him not to do so. He is in fact the one who opted to give me the baby while I was at the bus stage ready to travel to Molo. He even gave me the child’s clothes, which I am ready to produce as evidence,” she said.
Gihumbi said she merely received her daughter, who came with the child to their home in Molo.
A man stood up in court to claim that he was the father of the baby. The court ordered that he be handed the child for it (court) to analyse the reaction before the child was referred to a children’s home.
The court ordered that Wahome be taken for a psychiatric test and the report tabled before it on the December 20, when the case will be mentioned. The three were denied bail.