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Fridah Mwema, a gender officer and a policewoman at Tigoni Police Station who helped a woman to deliver at a police cell. [George Njunge, Standard]

 A remandee has given birth to a bouncing baby girl at Tigoni police cell forcing policewomen at the station to assume midwife duties.

Ann Wanjiru from Murengeti in Limuru was remanded to the station after the Covid-19 measures prevented her from being ferried to Langata Women’s Prison.

Wanjiru who was accused of assault and causing bodily harm in case number 118/2020, filed at Limuru Law Courts while expectant, could not raise Sh10,000 cash bail.

While in remand, officer commanding station John Misoi and gender desk officer Fridah Mwema took up the roles of ensuring that Wanjiru attended her antenatal clinic at the nearby Tigoni Level 4 Hospital as required.

On her due day, the officers heard a commotion in the cells and a shout from a female remandee calling for help. The officer on duty rushed only to find Wanjiru having labour pains.

The officer notified the OCS of the developments and he quickly called upon the gender desk officer to intervene.

According to Fridah, she moved Wanjiru to a separate clean room within the station as she called in for help from other female officers.

“This was a crazy moment in the station, it was around 7 pm and we were caught flat-footed in the emergency, and in a fraction of a moment Wanjiru gave birth to a bouncing baby girl in our presence,” Fridah said.

The officers mobilised among themselves and got clothes for the mother and the newborn baby girl.

“In my whole career as a policeman I have never met this kind of a scenario, I and the officers wanted to give this woman the best we could in the circumstances, “the OCS said.

Fridah went to her house and got blankets and a warm cover for Wanjiru while some officers in the station brought baby shawls and small blankets for the newborn with the OCS giving two blankets for the new family.

Upon delivery, the OCS organised for transport to Limuru Health Centre where Wanjiru and the newborn were to be checked. The mother and the child were checked by the nurses and given a clean bill of health at the facility.

They travelled back to the station where the OCS had secured a room for them. “I was elated on seeing officers often accused of being inhuman pulling the best to keep the baby and the mother comfortable with everything they could,”Fridah said.

 Fridah made some porridge for Wanjiru and warmed her some water to have a bath as Tigoni is an extremely cold place.

The male officers chipped in to warm the room for the newborn and within no time the room was full of hot drinks and food for the mother.

According to the OCS, it was difficult to keep a breastfeeding mother of a newborn in the station as the place is too cold for them. The OCS liaised with the court to have Wanjiru freed on a personal bond and this was to be made through a sworn affidavit.

The OCS made the brave step and deposited an affidavit detailing the reasons as to why Wanjiru should be released on a personal bond and the court granted his prayer.

“I was very happy when my prayer was granted, I went back to the station and again with the help of the gender office in the station I organised how Wanjiru and the newborn would be taken home all the way to Murengeti in Lari,”Misoi said

The gender officer took Wanjiru and handed her over to Lucy Nduta, her mothe-in-law as her husband was away on bodaboda business at a nearby town.

“The mother in law was very happy and emotional upon receiving Wanjiru and her granddaughter. Nduta said that she could not raise the cash bail for her daughter-in-law as she relies on manual jobs in the area for her upkeep while the son is a bodaboda rider.

George Ndungu, Wanjiru’s husband said that he is shocked by what police did and feel indebted to the OCS and the officers who brought an image never seen in the police force of humanness and empathy

“It’s unlikely to see police treat people with kind grooves, this is exceptional,” Ndungu said.

Ndungu said that they are doing everything possible to talk to the complainant to withdraw the case.


Ann Wanjiru Covid-19 measures Limuru Law Courts Police cells Woman delivers
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