I'm best placed to take care of minor - granny

Millicent Wambui fears that the minor will be abandoned in the USA. [iStockphoto]

A Kenyan grandmother battling a United States of America national over the custody of a seven-year-old boy has expressed fears that the man will abandon him a second time.

Millicent Wambui in her submissions before Family Court Judge Hillary Chemitei claimed that she fears that the minor, codenamed RD, will be abandoned in the US if the court orders that he is returned.

Senior lawyer Kamau Kuria is representing Wambui in the case. According to him, an American national Claude Allen Dary walked out of RD and his mother Tracy Kebatta while the minor was two years.

 “In December 2018, the respondent informed the Appellant’s daughter that he would not go ahead with the marriage and would stop paying the rent for the apartment in January 2019. He implemented that decision with the effect from March 1, 2019,” said RD’s grandmother.

In the case, Kamau asserted that his client was weary that her grandson will have no one to take care of him as her daughter is currently catching up with life as she was out of work.

“The appellant (Wambui) has demonstrated that indeed both factually and according to law, the minor is  in need of care and has been in need of care since  February 23, 2019 when the respondent walked out on him and the mother without resources thereby morally leaving the appellant as the only person who could fill the vacuum of parental responsibility,” argued Kamau.

According to Wambui, Dary left Kebatta and the minor on February 23 2019. She stated that her daughter left a well-paying job to take care of the minor and was certain that she would be married to Dary in 2019 in Kenya.

However, according to her, Dary who was then living in her daughter’s house, walked away.

“At the time the minor was born, the appellant’s daughter and the respondent were living in the daughter’s apartment in New York, USA.The respondent moved into that flat because he did not have his own house. He had always been a licensee of his mother who has a house in New York,” said Wambui.

She argued that Dary left them without support and was doubtful as to whether he was the father of the minor.

“The consequence is that the minor will never have a home with the two parents,” she said.

She also cast doubt on Dary’s financial muscle arguing that the man still lives with his mother and only made meager financial support.

According to her, Dary never produced his payslip despite telling the court that he was working with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Dary, however, insisted that so long as he and Kebatta are alive, Wambui has no role in raising the minor. 

He said that the case was similar to another one that had been dismissed by the High Court. Dary urged the court to affirm magistrate court’s orders that RD ought to be in the USA and not Kenya.

“So far, four decisions have been made regarding the welfare of this child. However, no decision has been able to remedy the five years that the child has lost touch with his parents,” Dary says.

At the heart of the case is the nationality of the minor and how he came to Kenya. At the same time, Wambui, Kebatta and Dary cannot agree on who should raise the minor.