Former employee of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital convicted of child trafficking
A former employee of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi has been found guilty and convicted on a criminal charge of child trafficking.
Fred Makallah was charged with child trafficking two years ago following an exposé that aired on UK-based broadcaster BBC.
He had been charged alongside his colleague Selina Awuor. The two had previously been charged with three counts of child trafficking in person and child neglect.
They faced charges of trafficking minors aged three weeks, two months and eight months between April 30 and May 20, 2020. They allegedly hatched the plot to engage in the syndicate between March 1 and November 16, 2020.
Trial Magistrate Esther Kimilu found Makallah guilty of child trafficking in person but acquitted the co-accused Awuor on the same criminal charge of child trafficking.
In her judgment, the Magistrate said Makallah was captured in a video clip negotiating for the sale of the three children who were under his custody in 2020.
“Awuor was not in the picture of what transpired over the negotiation to have the three children sold to one Rose and a whistle-blower,” the Magistrate ruled.
The infants had been dumped by their unknown parents before being rescued by Good Samaritans who took them to the hospital for care.
The prosecution called a total of 18 witnesses who didn’t implicate Awuor in the transaction.
The court directed that a presentencing report be prepared by a probation officer and the same be presented to the defense lawyers for mitigation on September 26, 2023.
Awuor will be held at Langata Women’s prison while Makallah will be remanded at Nairobi Industrial Area Prison.
The arrest of the two workers on May 18, 2020, followed an exposé that aired on BBC Africa titled The Baby Stealers. It showed how child trafficking was rife at the public health facility.
The three children were stolen from the hospital and passed on to third parties at a fee. According to the BBC Eye exposé, a gang of organised criminals had been stealing children from homeless mothers and selling them for as little as Sh45,000.