When Calendi Mwajuma, 22, gave birth to a baby girl on May 2, 2019, her joy was short-lived after she was denied the chance of being a mother.
Trouble started on July 1, 2019, when the baby mysteriously went missing from their house in Kwa Rhonda, Nakuru County. At the time, Mwajuma had gone to the market to run some errands and left the baby with a neighbour.
The neighbour claimed she left the baby unattended and when the mother returned 30 minutes later the infant was missing.
There was a glimmer of hope on August 11, 2019, when a police officer called her husband Moses Aura, 26, saying they had found their baby with another woman in Busia County.
“It was a relief when I heard that my baby had been found and the woman had been arrested. It was the first step in getting our parental life back,” said Mr Aura.
Mwajuma’s hope of finding her missing baby was however shattered on September 26, 2019, after DNA results ruled out that she was the mother of the baby.
Lilian Auma who was with the baby maintained that she was its biological mother.
The matter moved to court and Nakuru Principal Magistrate Bernard Mararo ordered for DNA tests to determine the biological mother of the baby.
Matter was closed
The results were shocking: neither Mwajuma nor Auma was the mother of the child. Although the Auras have a two-year-old child, search for the missing baby gives them nightmares.
The couple hardly spoke to each other and it took the intervention of Sunday Standard team for them to sit next to each other.
Aura said Mwajuma took their child and left for their home in Mumias after the DNA results and told him not to contact her.
“Mwajuma decided that she could no longer stay with me. It was early October when she packed her belongings and left for her ancestral home,” he said.
He said that he tried to contact her through her grandmother’s mobile phone but she refused to answer for about two weeks.
“When she agreed to answer my calls, she only demanded money for the child’s upkeep after which she disconnected the call,” he said.
Aura was left with one option to save their marriage, “I knew I had to find my lost daughter for me to be reunited with Mwajuma.”
Firstly, he went to court to follow-up on their case but was informed by the investigating officer that the matter was closed after the DNA results.
Aura unsuccessfully sought the help of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to trace his daughter. He turned to neighbours for help but they distanced themselves for fear of being victimised.
Aura decided to seek another DNA test from an independent facility but he couldn’t raise Sh16,000 to cover the cost.
“I had not gone to work for months and I had no money. I lost hope,” he added.
Mwajuma told Sunday Standard that she left Nakuru because she was in pain, confused and disappointed.
“I couldn’t stand him and each moment we spoke we argued and engaged in blame game. I decided to pack and leave and told him never to call me,” she said.
In December last year Aura’s parents and church elders intervened and saved their marriage.
Mwajuma returned to Nakuru last Friday.
Nakuru West police commander Samson Gathuku denied laxity in dealing with the case. “It is sad that the couple is in distress after losing their child. We have however intensified investigations to ensure they get closure,” he said.
An investigating officer who requested anonymity said preliminary investigations revealed that the recovered baby might have been trafficked from Uganda.
“The woman told us that results of DNA would shock everyone including the complainant, saying the baby was not from Kenya,” said the officer.
Nakuru children coordinator Alice Wanyonyi said the child was placed in safe custody in a charitable children institution.