In Summary
  • 29-year-old Edinah Kemunto said she already had a customer, whom she only named as Jennifer.
  • The suspect had initially given her name as Faith Kwamboka.

  • She said she was “tricked” by Jennifer to escape with the baby to the Kawangware neighbourhood of Nairobi.

The woman suspected of stealing a baby from Kenyatta National Hospital on Sunday planned to sell the infant for Sh7,000.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation Tuesday, 29-year-old Edinah Kemunto, who had initially given her name as Faith Kwamboka, said she already had a customer, whom she only named as Jennifer.

She said she was handed the baby by a cousin of the infant’s father at the hospital but was later “tricked” by Jennifer to escape with the baby to the Kawangware neighbourhood of Nairobi.

Jennifer, she added, is her friend.

BABY TRADE

Her confession opened the lid on a secretive, well-oiled baby-trading underworld coordinated from the corridors of Kenya’s maternity wards.

Many parents have lost their new-borns this way and, often, the suspects are never apprehended.

This theft, curiously, also happened right under the collective nose of Kenyatta National Hospital’s recently beefed-up security, which faced public fire last month over allegations of sexual harassment of mothers within the facility.

The boy was stolen as his parents were being attended to by doctors. His twin sister remained at the hospital, and on Monday the father confided to us that he had kept his wife in the dark over the matter as he feared the trauma could cause her post-birth complications.

CCTV CAMERAS

Ms Kemunto confessed that she escaped with the baby as instructed by Jennifer, the woman captured on CCTV cameras walking out of the hospital with the baby in her arms.

“I had gone to the hospital for a check-up because I developed complications after giving birth to my baby, who died in February last year,” Ms Kemunto said.

The greengrocer from Kigawi in Keroka, Kisii County, said she handed the baby to Jennifer outside the hospital and that, from there, they headed to Jennifer’s house in the Kongo area of Kawangware.

“After I returned to my house, I realised that I had done a mistake and I went back to Jennifer’s house to try and convince her that we should return the baby,” she told the Nation.

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