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Hospital boss in child trafficking case to spend weekend in custody

By Paul Ogemba | November 20th 2020

Two senior workers at Mama Lucy Hospital will spend the weekend in custody to allow police complete investigations into a child trafficking syndicate.

Nairobi Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi ruled that the hospital Chief Executive Officer Emma Mutio and administrator Regina Musembi are senior officials at the hospital and releasing them could give them a chance to interfere with evidence and records.

“There is a real fear by investigating officers that they will interfere with the records. I will therefore allow the application to detain them for two days to allow investigators to conclude their work,” said Ochoi.

Further, Ochoi ruled that although the two, alongside social worker Fred Makallah, are still presumed innocent because they have not been formally charged, it was necessary to protect the integrity of investigations to get to the bottom of the trafficking syndicate.

Collect documents

The magistrate directed the investigating officer to visit the hospital and collect documents in the presence of the suspects so that they are kept aware of what's going on.

Police officers investigating the case had requested for 10 days to detain the three suspects but the magistrate ruled that the two days are sufficient.

A copy of the proposed charge sheet filed in court stated that Dr Mutio, Musembi and Makallah colluded between May and November 2020 while at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital and offered for adoption three children aged between six and eight months with the purpose of trafficking them.

Chief Inspector Wanga Masake said they began investigations following reports that children born at the hospital were being sold at between Sh100,000 and Sh300,000.

The case will be mentioned on Monday.

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