Is she my daughter? Man weeps as he recalls baby identity saga

Justice Lawrence Mugambi at a Milimani court in November 2023. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A man broke into tears as he recounted his predicament about a baby that Mama Lucy Hospital insists is his.

Amid sobs, Edgar Mutemi yesterday told the High Court that for five years, he has been raising the girl while at the back of his mind, he still doubts he is the biological father.

At one point, Justice Lawrence Mugambi had to console him as he recalled how the hospital first gave his wife, Everlyn Ndinda, a boy as their newborn.

“Let us talk like men now, please do not put it in your heart as children are a blessing. I understand it is hard but for now, let us deal with your case,” the judge told Mutemi.  

The man claimed that there were three newborns - two girls and a boy - with two parents claiming the girls.

He testified how the couple refused to take the boy, insisting that theirs was a girl. It is then the two girls were brought to them.

The man stated that Ndinda was admitted to the hospital after her birth water broke. She was then induced into labour but she was unable to give birth. She then underwent a Cesarean Section on July 15, 2019.

“I found her in the theatre and they had already done the CS. The baby was at the nursery while my wife was in the ward from 11am to 4pm,” he testified.

Mutemi said that he saw his baby, who weighed 2.8 kilogrammes.

“We went to the baby unit and found the nurse in charge and she took us to the unit and showed us a baby who was tagged the name of the mother. I confirmed that the baby was a female in the presence of the nurse and mother-in-law,” he said.

Baby’s gender

He stated that on his way out, he found some women who asked whether he had confirmed the baby’s gender as they were allegedly being exchanged.

Justice Mugambi heard that the following day, his wife found another woman breastfeeding the child he knew to be hers. “There were three babies; a boy and two girls. She went to the theatre and came with a file and said our child was a boy,” stated Mutemi.

Further, DNA samples were taken from the two girls, but not the boy. 

Mutemi and the other parents recorded statements at the Kayole Police Station as doctors admitted that there was an error.

On July 29, 2019, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers did mouth swabs. On the same day, his wife was transferred to the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital.

After four days, Ndinda was taken back to Mama Lucy where the hospital declined to discharge her until September 2, 2019, after they then took one of the girls.

According to Mutemi, the parents were required to withdraw their complaints. However the saga was reported to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC).

He said while one document given to KMPDC indicated the reason for the CS was because the baby had come out with the hand first, another said the newborn was tied up by the umbilical cord.

State counsel Betty Mwasao said the DNA results indicated the girl was his biological daughter.

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