The Catholic Church is investigating a Samburu case where a Kenyan man says he was sired by missionary priest, who impregnated his mother at the age of 16.
According to Gerald Erebon aged 30 years, he was sired by Reverend Mario Lacchin, an 83-year-old Italian priest from the Consolata Missionaries who ministered in 1980s.
Gerald says that he looks nothing like the people listed as his parents and siblings. He is tall, light-skinned with wavy hair unlike his parents and siblings who are black.
“According to my birth certificate, it is like I am living a wrong life, a lie. I just want to have my identity, my history,” said Erebon.
The missionary however denied being his father and the efforts to have a paternity test have been futile.
At the same time, the investigations have revealed through his birth certificate and his mother’s that he was born when she was 16, which is below the legal consented age of 18 in Kenya.
It has been established that Lacchin met Sabina Losirkale, Gerald’s mother, when she was in school at Gir Gir Primary School in Archer’s Post, a dusty town on the highway to Ethiopia.
It was then that he is accused of luring her, impregnating her and leaving her to raise the child alone, with the church taking a role in the cover up.
The sister to the Erebon’s mother Scolastica Losirkale said that he had met her on several occasions hugging the priest goodbye and bribed her with gifts hence might have taken advantage of her at the early age.
“I think Father Mario was taking advantage of my sister,” said the 45-year-old widow, looking through family photos in her one-bedroom, mud-brick home. “He bribed her with gifts, food, clothes. He was even buying us books. My sister used to come with books, pens, all we needed,” she said.
This comes at a time when priests and bishops have been accused of child molesting.
Erebon now wants Lacchin’s help to obtain Italian citizenship for himself and his two children.
“I just want to have my identity, my history, so that my children can also have what they really are: their heritage, history and everything,” he said.