Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emma Mutio and two other medical officers have been detained for two days to allow police to conclude investigations into their alleged involvement in child trafficking.
The CEO, administrator Regina Musembi and social worker Makalla Fred Leparan, were arrested after a BBC exposé linked the public hospital to the illegal business. They were arraigned on Wednesday.
Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Thursday allowed the prosecution’s request to detain the suspects pending investigations before being charged.
The magistrate ruled that the investigating officer had raised genuine concerns on the possibility of the suspects interfering with documentary evidence.
“Having considered the concerns, I allow the respondents to be remanded for further two days to enable police to finish the investigations. The investigating officer will visit the hospital and collect documents in the presence of the suspects,” the magistrate ruled.
The three will be remanded at Kileleshwa Police station until November 23 when the case will be mentioned.
The BBC’s Africa Eye documentary dubbed ‘The Baby Stealers‘ allegedly exposed Leparan negotiating with an undercover journalist in a well-planned scheme to sell a child who had been abandoned at the Mama Lucy Hospital.
Africa Eye’s year-long investigation found evidence of children being snatched from homeless mothers and sold for profits.
The investigative piece revealed that the going-rate to steal a child from a woman is roughly Ksh50,000 for a girl or Ksh80,000 for a boy in the capital Nairobi.
Yesterday, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai called on members of the public to volunteer information on child trafficking to the police and local administration officers to help nail more perpetrators.
“The Inspector General assures our sources of information of utmost confidentiality on any information shared with the police,” he added.