Police must bring city baby thieves to book

By Editorial Team
Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
Mama Lucy Hospital. Photo/Courtesy
In summary

An expose by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has revealed a sickening trend on the streets of Nairobi.

Mothers are losing their babies. Someone is paying to have children abducted and sold to third parties. This is the hallmark of a rotten society.

Those on the receiving end are street families and vulnerable women. Some desperate mothers are giving away their babies for a pittance.

One such case had a woman induced into labour when she was eight and half months into her pregnancy and as a result of the premature birth, her baby developed an infection.

The baby’s going price dropped from Sh45,000 to Sh10,000! In another instance, a woman who lives on Nairobi streets got intoxicated and that is the last time she saw her baby.

That is not the end of the story; an official at  Mama Lucy Hospital entrusted with finding homes for abandoned children has been selling some of the babies under his protection.

He is so callous in his practice, which he seems to have perfected, and asks for as much as Sh300,000 for an infant.

The report took a year to compile but there are no indications any action has been taken against those involved in the horrific theft syndicate.

Two reasons are given for the rampant trade: First, the victims are vulnerable with little or no recourse whatsoever and, secondly, the cavalier attitude with which state officials approach the issue.

Granted, the officers may be underfunded, but that does not stop them from reining in the theft.

No citizen, however poor, should be a child of a lesser god. The country has had numerous attempts at rehabilitating street families by providing them with skills to eke a living and find a decent home.

None of the initiatives seems to have borne fruit. It is embarrassing that street families in one county were gathered and dumped in some forest ostensibly to improve the county’s image.

For far too long, street families have been left to their own devices and the result is often disastrous.

It is incontestable that the government has dropped the ball; the State has failed these citizens.

No mother should be left wondering where her children are or what they are doing, simply because someone wants to make quick cash.

We demand the State protects the less privileged with the vigour it does the rest of the populace. We demand these profiteers be brought to book.