No DNA test for Deya babies yet

The Government does not have the chemical needed to carry out DNA tests on “miracles babies“, the Nation learnt yesterday.

It also emerged that it would cost the parents or the Government between Sh15,000 and Sh20,000 for a private doctor to conduct each DNA test. and the results would be ready in a day.

Sources said tissue samples taken from the children, Mrs Mary Deya, Mr Michael Odera and his wife Eddah, had by yesterday not been worked on.

After the samples were taken, they were first handed over to the Kenya Medical Research Institute who could not conduct the DNA tests. Kemri gave the samples to the Government chemist where they were kept in a sealed box.

Sources at the Government chemist said staff were demoralised because the investigators bypassed them by first taking the samples to Kemri.

Documents indicate that the request for the DNA tests were sent to the Government chemist by the investigators yesterday morning and not last week.

These delays are likely to force the police to release the four people who have been in custody in connection with the “miracle babies scandal.

Mr Odera and his wife Mary, a Mrs Nyiego and Mrs Deya, the wife of self-professed “miracle worker” Bishop Gilbert Deya have been in custody for the last one week without being charged.

Lengthy stays in custody are only legal in instances where someone is suspected of committing a capital crime especially robbery with violence or murder.

Police are now in a dilemma as it is unclear what charges they would lay against the four who claim to be the parents of the “miracle babies.

The problem is unlikely to be resolved unless the DNA tests are finalised.

Sources said the tests were likely to take at least 30 days and not the two weeks which the investigators had previously envisaged.

Yesterday, a couple from Kisii and a woman who laid claim to some of the children were turned away at the CID headquarters. They were asked to return after the DNA tests were conducted.

According to the Head of Virology Department at the Institute of Primate Research, Dr Moses Otsyula, DNA tests would cost between Sh15,000 and Sh20,000 if done in the country. It would, therefore, cost approximately Sh980,000 to conduct the tests on the 21 children, Mrs Deya and the Oderas.

Apart from the Government chemist, only Dr Otsyula and the Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative co-investigator, Dr Omu Anzala, can conduct DNA tests in Kenya.

Meanwhile, British High Commission officials yesterday visited the CID headquarters and watched a video tape of the alleged birth of one of the “miracle babies”.

The tape was seized from Mrs Deya’s Mountain View house. The officials were trying to establish whether the evangelist has committed any offence and if there were grounds to deport him to Kenya to face charges. The officials were invited by the Director of Criminal Investigations, Joseph Kamau.

And police yesterday decided to stop parents of missing children from visiting the Nairobi Children’s Home to identify the 21 their children as the number of couples claiming them rose to 35.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Daily Nation, Kenya
Aug. 26, 2004
Domini Wabala and Stephen Muiruri

Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 26, 2004.
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