BBC Africa Eye is a continually updated news program presented by the British Broadcasting Corporation. As such, the BBC has reporters and investigators stationed in every crook and cranny of the Dark Continent.
Their keen eye recently revealed how children are being stolen from the hordes of illegal clinics, and at least one public hospital, all located in Nairobi. To add to this astonishing discovery, black market buyers of these infants can specify their exact requirements when selecting their perfect choice. They’re being stolen to order.
It’s difficult to place a value on human life, but in the case of the sellers, right around $400 is their usual assumption. The police chief, now having knowledge of the atrocity that’s been going on right beneath his very nose, has ordered further investigation of all hospitals and children’s homes located within the sprawling jurisdiction where he probably collects his bribe money from.
The illegal clinics will prove a bit harder to locate, so then there’s that… Some of the suspects in the case have been identified and arrested but they aren’t talking out of fear of retaliation from those who have as yet to be caught. Even in prison, they must remain cautious of those on the inside who are still connected to those on the outside. They talk. They die.
Almost all of the children were stolen from destitute women living in squalor on the streets, or from illegal immigrants who are forced to use any number of the illegal clinics located off of back alleys and in abandoned buildings.
The second hospital in Nairobi, Mama Lucy Kibaki, to be looked into, revealed widespread corruption in every known form, including the sale of babies. It’s anticipated the same will be found across the board as the police keep digging.
One of those arrested at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, Fred Leparan, a clinical social worker, was found out about when he facilitated the sale of a two-week-old infant to some undercover reporters who set the slime-ball up. His arrest was made immediately when the reporters handed Leparan 30,000 shillings, or roughly $2700 American dollars, in cold hard cash.
Kenya’s Labor and Social Protection Minister Simon Chelugui, speaking at a news conference, explicitly stated that all those arrested will face the “full force of the law.” He then admitted how he was well aware of Kenya’s child protection services being in dire need of total reconstruction. Gee. Ya’ think?
The Interior Ministry, Fred Matiang’i, threw in his two-cents by thanking the BBC for uncovering the “rot” they were never able to, or more than likely never properly addressed. He said in addition to drug smuggling, human trafficking is rampant. It’s one of the largest security issues they have been frustratingly attempting to deal with. Arrest a criminal of any type and within seconds there will be a replacement.
Kenya has no reliable statistics concerning child trafficking, but Missing Child Kenya, a non-government private organization, claims to have barely scratched the service with the almost 600 cases they’ve worked with over the past three years.
But let’s look at things through the eyes of a victim. Let’s turn this more personal. A woman known only as Rebecca for safety concerns has a 10-year-old son she hasn’t seen since he was one. He wasn’t stolen at birth, but nonetheless, her youngest son is gone.
He could be in Nairobi, or maybe France or the Netherlands. Or maybe he made it all the way to a wealthy white home in America. She knows this sometimes happens.
Rebecca was just 16 when her boy was stolen. It was 2 am and she had been sniffing on a rag soaked in jet fuel which is a common and cheap high on the streets. She said she only did this because it bolstered her confidence enough to beg money from strangers.
Just one year prior, Rebecca’s mother had fallen on hard times and could no longer afford to pay the required fees to keep her daughter in school. Food became scarce. Left with no other options, the young girl transitioned to the life of a beggar.
She met a much older man who promised to marry her, and desperately wanting to believe him, fell into a very short term one-night romantic encounter that left her pregnant. She never saw the man again.
A year later, as she and her child were sleeping in a darkened outside foyer, she awoke to find her child, Lawrence Josiah, missing. Rebecca still lives on the streets of Nairobi, and she now has three more children, ages four, six, and eight.
Fighting back tears, she said, “Even though I have other kids, he was my firstborn, he made me a mother. I have searched in every children’s center, in Kiambu, Kayole, and I have never found him.”
Africa Eye also discovered a woman named Anita, who was reported to them by an anonymous friend wishing only to be known as Emma. Anita earned her living as a child snatcher and used various methods for stealing children on the street.
“Sometimes she will speak to the mother first, to try and see if the mother knows what she plans to do,” Emma told them. “Sometimes she will drug the mother, give her sleeping pills or glue. Sometimes she will play with the kid. Anita has a lot of ways to get kids.”
Whether the intensity of this widespread epidemic in Nairobi will ever be tamed is doubtful. But if organizations like Missing Child Kenya and others like them can save just one…
Just for the record. We would also like to commend the BBC for their work in uncovering this evil.