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Grandmother accuses woman of baby theft

The East African Standard, Kenya
Aug. 27, 2004
Philip Osewe • Friday August 27, 2004

An elderly woman is accusing the 56-six-year-old mother at the centre of the “miracle babies” controversy of stealing her grandson seven years ago.

Mrs Esther Arrum Ogola Onyango claims that Mrs Eddah Odera the woman who claims she gave birth to 13 “miracle babies” in three years stole the baby from a house in Nairobis Mathare North.

Onyango told journalists in Homa Bay that her grandson was stolen only three days after being born at Pumwani Maternity hospital.

“It was on April 4, 1997, at around 3.30 pm when I had gone to Pumwani Maternity hospital to collect my daughter Josephine Lwango when we met with Odera at the bus stage and she offered to assist my daughter carry the baby since she was weak,” she says.

They headed to their Mathare North house arriving at 5.30 pm and after a short while, Odera begged to leave, saying it was getting late, the woman says. The next day, Odera visited the daughter at around 9am and after taking breakfast begged to leave.

Onyango claims that Odera returned shortly while the daughter was washing clothes in a bathroom a few metres away, sneaked into the house and stole the baby.

She claims the woman then placed a radio cassette player in the bed in which her grandson had been sleeping.

According to Onyango, her daughter was surprised to find the shawl she had used to cover the baby on the doorsteps and suspected something was wrong. She went to check on the sleeping baby only to find a radio cassette player in the bed.

Onyango said they immediately sent word to the babys father, Mr David Luango Barasa at Amboseli Lodge where he worked as a technician.

Onyango says she is convinced that Joshua Deya, one of the babies found at Archbishop Gilbert Deyas house, is her long-lost grandson.

Barasa yesterday confirmed that he lost his son in 1997, and added that he would go to the CID headquarters for a DNA test to prove that that the boy was indeed his son.

Speaking by telephone, Barasa said the family gave up the search for the baby after they failed to trace him. “Police were not of much help,” he said.

He reported the theft to Ruruaka and Pangani police stations. He lost hope when he visited Pumwani hospital and learnt that the babys name had been deleted from the register, he said.

Both Mrs Odera and Archbishop Deyas wife, Mrs Mary Deya, are in police custody as investigations into the “miracle babies” saga continue. A total of 21 children found in their homes are at a childrens home and police have appealed to Kenyans who may have lost their children to come forward and identify them.

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