Richard Olukhakha tells of how he spotted the exact replica of his daughter Mevies in Kakamega town and the ensuing confusion. His wife, Rosemary Onyango, too recalls the day the husband deleted her number. They spoke to KTN’s Elvis KosgeyRichard Olukhakha: I was in Kakamega town at around 8am, I was going to take tea at Kitale-Inn Hotel, when I got there I saw my daughter passing by, I wondered what my daughter was doing in Kakamega Town wearing a different school uniform. I followed her and called out her name (Melon) but she declined to respond. I asked her, your father is calling you and you cannot respond but she said I wasn’t her father.
Therefore, I called her mother and asked her where Melon was. She said Melon had gone to Eldoret for a church meeting and she (the mother) had handed her to their pastor’s wife. I told her to stop lying now that I had seen Melon in the company of a boy here in Kakamega.
We started arguing and because I’m hot tempered, I hanged up, switched off my phone and deleted her number. I went on with my errands. So there is an uncle of mine at Stage Two, I went to see him and told him what had transpired. I wanted him to go and see what I had just seen.
After Mevies testimonyOlukhakha: We went to a local health facility and undertook a blood test and it turned out they were all O positive just like him.
For Mevies, she resembles my late aunt Fransisca, who used to live in Eastleigh, Nairobi. She used to work in a house girls’ bureau and was hardworking and jovial person. Those who saw her can tell the resemblance (Fransisca and Mevies).
Rosemary Onyango: When I was six months pregnant, my doctor told me I was either expecting triplets or twins but we were not sure. So in my last weeks of pregnancy, I got complications and went to Kakamega General Hospital, where they told me I might be expecting either triplets or twins. So they told me I will be operated on and the babies be will be taken to the nursery. I signed the documents and went for the operation.
It was successful and I left the ward singing (sings a Swahili song...Hakuna mungu kama wewe…). The nurse in charge noticed my happiness and I asked her about my babies. She said I had given birth to two babies, all girls and not three. I was happy because I had three boys already and now I had three girls.
The nurse brought the first baby after a two-day stay at the hospital. She told me the second baby was still sick and had been put on medication for 21 days. I used to breastfeed her while in hospital until the doctors were satisfied that she was now fine.
After another week, I left the hospital with the babies, satisfied. I didn’t know I had another baby, Sharon.
But when her father called me, complaining why I had left our daughter to loiter around in town, I was surprised because I had handed over our daughter (Melon) to our pastor’s wife and were in Eldoret for a church meeting. But he insisted that he had seen Melon in Kakamega Town. I told Melon to call his father but Richard insisted he had seen Melon in town.
(Back to the day she gave birth) There must have been a mistake because I was sick and unconscious, I don’t know if I had triplets or twins.
(On the current situation) When I asked Sharon’s mother she said she also delivered her baby when she was seven months pregnant and was taken to the nursery at the same hospital. I don’t know if the babies were swapped or not.
I wondered if the third baby was taken, now that the second baby was sickly and frail. We are confused, wondering and even crying.
When Sharon and Melon came to my place, I was unable to identify which one was mine. I even ran away. I was shocked by the striking resembles.
But for Mevies, our eyes resemble. So I’m sure all these girls are mine. But we wondered where Sharon Mother’s child went to. So we are asking the Government and the hospital to explain what exactly happened.
If the DNA results come out and it confirms all the babies are mine, I am ready to live with them all and if they say Sharon is not mine, I know they remain friends. These kids will be all ours.
Olukhakha: I don’t regret my absence at the hospital when my wife was giving birth. In maternity wards, they don’t allow men to access that section. So these revelations have shocked me, and Sharon’s mother and I come from the same village. Sharon’s dad and my wife come from the same village too.
I have never accompanied my wife to hospital for delivery, so I was left with my other three children.
We had 10 children, two died. We divided these twins amongst ourselves, Melon was named after my wife’s mother and Mevies was named after my grandfather. So I have been taking care of Mevies as she takes care of Melon. We love them and even Moi’s Bridge residents always referred to us as Mama and baba twins. Now we have a third child.
Hospitals nowadays have issues, like the case of Pumwani Hospital, husbands have to accompany their wives to hospital. For the case of Kakamega Hospital, I want to request the Governor to check the records for the two mothers who delivered in 1999, because I’m sure it is still there. From there they can see how they can help us. Even before the DNA results, I’m sure the records will unfold this mystery.
My conscience tells me the three are my children.
Rosemary: My husband’s presence would not have helped, because he could not be allowed in the ward, it is only the doctors and God who knows but DNA tests is what will give us a clear direction. But if the results turn out that Mevies is not mine, it will break me. Why did the doctors do this to us? (breaks into tears). I breastfed Mevies and she breastfed Sharon. We will blame the doctors and we will cry. That will be painful and it will break us.
If the doctors messed, we ask the Government to support us by building a house for us so that we can live under one roof with the children because we cannot separate these kids. In addition, I cannot go to live in Nairobi with them. The children are the complainants here and their questioning their similar character and the resemblance. So the Government help us. If you can’t help us then I don’t see if you can help any other person.
We are needy, getting their school fees, food and upkeep is not easy. We cannot be separated from our kids, so it’s upon the Government to decide how we will live together.
Olukhakha: I am calling upon well-wishers to help us with the costs as we are planning to undertake a DNA test. We are ready to undertake it because we want when schools open they should have known the truth so that they can settle. There are even people on Facebook who are offering them jobs and other deals that may affect their morals. So I am asking well-wishers to come out and help us.
Rosemary: I want this process to be fast-tracked because it’s stressing the girls and I want them to relax. They are not even eating. They need to know now that they are ready for anything. The matter should not drag as it may affect how they will perform in their KCSE.