Nov, 18th 2020 – Kenya’s government has ordered an investigation into the theft and sale of babies following a BBC investigation into the black market trade. The announcement came after BBC Africa Eye revealed that children were stolen from a Nairobi public hospital. A hospital official used legitimate paperwork to take custody of a two-week-old boy before selling him directly to an undercover reporter.
Addressing a packed press conference in Nairobi, Labour and Social Protection Minister Simon Chelugui said the sellers and buyers were equally culpable. Flanked by top police officials, Mr Chelugui promised a thorough investigation.
The investigation by BBC Africa Eye uncovered that a trade in children stolen from their vulnerable mothers living on the streets with the existence of illegal clinics in Nairobi where babies are sold for as little as $400.
The investigations uncovered corruption at the Mama Lucy Kibaki as a clinical social worker at the hospital, Fred Leparan facilitated the sale of an abandoned baby boy, two weeks old, to an undercover reporter at a fee of sh300,000 in cash. Both the Mama Lucy Kibaki and Mr. Leparan have declined requests to comment on the findings of the investigation.
Speaking on Tuesday at the press conference, the labour minister, Mr. Chelugui noted that improvements to some Kenya’s child protection services were needed.
A non-governmental organisation, Missing Child Kenya says that in the past three years, it has been involved in nearly 600 cases.