Jirongo sues magistrate over woman who abandoned baby in his office
Politician and businessman Cyrus Jirongo has sued a Nairobi Children’s Court Magistrate for unfairly striping him custody of his child and instead gave it to a woman he claims abandoned the baby in his office while he was away.
Mr Jirongo, using the name Shakhalagha Khwa Jirongo, sued Resident Magistrate Z.W. Gichana for granting the one-year-old daughter’s custody to Ms Beth Waithera Mungai, yet the woman had allegedly abandoned her in his office while he was upcountry.
Mr Jirongo claims that the Magistrate had ordered that the child should be rescued from the father by state agents without him being given a reasonable opportunity to defend himself.
He also claims that Ms Mungai is a police suspect for the offence of abandoning and endangering a minor contrary to Section 127 of the Children’s Act in an ongoing investigation under OB Number 30/19/5/2015.
“There is a real risk that the child may be violently be taken away from him unless the order and directions issued by the Magistrate are stopped, it is in the best interest of the child that the custody remains with the father because the mother abandoned him,” Mr Ndung’u Karanja, for the MP, said.
Ms Mungai whose address has been given as Nairobi is listed as an interested party in the case.
According to Mr Jirongo, since the birth of the child on June 7, 2014, the baby had lived with the mother and he would provide periodic material support for its upkeep besides visiting them.
He alleges that all had been well until May 15, when Ms Mungai angrily stormed his office, dumped the baby on a lounge seat and stormed out despite pleas from the members of staff who were present at that time not to leave the child there because he was not there.
LEFT BABY ALONE
“Ms Mungai did not heed to the calls and she left the child alone, my Secretary and other members of staff were there, I did not step in the office the whole day and naturally they were unexpectedly left with the burden of looking after the baby,” Mr Jirongo said.
He says he organized for the child to be taken to his house where she has lived since then because he is a father of many other children.
He also said that he had reported the matter with the police as it was a failure in parental duty to abandon the child to strangers.
But he adds that it is then that she had moved to court on June 18 claiming that he is irresponsible and uncaring hence obtained exparte reprieve orders five days later because his lawyers had not responded to the suit.
“Ms Mungai committed an offense which exposed the baby to suffering and the Magistrate was not interested to hear these facts before making her determination, I was not given a chance to be heard,” Mr Jirongo said.
He wants the High Court to quash the orders and direction of the Magistrate Court issued on June 18 and 24.