A bid by the wife of London-based preacher, Gilbert Deya, to have child theft charges against her and two others dropped has been thwarted.
Mary Deya, Miriam Nyeko and Rose Kiserem wanted the charges terminated on grounds that they were defective.
It is alleged that between July 19 and August 19, 2004, at Mountain View Estate, Nairobi, the three harboured an unnamed child, known as David Rwot-Omio with the knowledge that he had been ‘stolen’.
Nyeko is further alleged to have procured a birth certificate from the Registrar of Births by falsely pretending to be Omio’s biological mother.
Lawyers Odhiambo Wakla and Wandugi Kirathe argued that the charges were defective because the State had failed to indicate the complainant.
“It is a fundamental and mandatory requirement of law that in a criminal trial, a complainant must be in existence,” Wakla submitted.
He said according to law, a complainant is described as one who lodges a complaint with the police or any other lawful authority.
“In the charge sheet before you, the complainant is named as the Republic of Kenya through Police and it cannot be a complainant at all under our criminal jurisprudence,” he added.
He told Senior Resident Magistrate T Ngugi that the existence of a complainant was vital in any criminal trial and in the absence of this, charges could not stand.
The lawyers urged the court to acquit the trio as it was empowered to do so if the complainant failed to attend trial.
However, State prosecutor, Robert Kyaa, maintained the charge was in order, saying he saw no need for the defence’s objection.
Kyaa said police, on behalf of the public, had launched investigations and there would be no prejudice if a complainant was not named.
He also agreed the State would at a later stage avail the child in court.
The prosecutor urged the court to disallow the application and order the trial to proceed.
In her ruling, the magistrate said the complainant was duly named and the section the defence referred to did not talk about a human person as a complainant.
She found the application by the defence to be an attempt to delay the case and dismissed it, saying it was not in good faith.