Drama unfolded outside Kericho Police Station yesterday when two women fought over a baby. The two women tried to wrestle the baby from Police Commandant Rose Muchuma’s hands, each claiming to be the biological mother. She said the four-month-old baby was found after police traced a suspect through her mobile phone signal.
The baby, who was found in Kericho, had been reported missing from her home in Eldoret on September 27. “Eldoret OCS spearheaded the investigations and with the help of mobile providers, we managed to track down the suspect at Chebown village,” said Muchuma.
The police commander said after carrying out investigations, they discovered that the suspect had been breast-feeding the baby, while the ‘mother’ who claimed her baby had been stolen could not produce milk as evidence that she was a lactating mother. Muchuma added that the two women recorded different names for the baby.
“The woman who reported that her four months old baby had been stolen claims to be the baby’s mother but the suspect insists the baby is hers and she had been breast-feeding it,”she said. She further added that the ‘mother’ claimed she had employed the suspect as a house-help.
Accompanied by her husband, the ‘mother’ said she gave birth at the Narok District Hospital four months ago, adding that she met the suspect shortly after and offered her the house-help job. “I found her (the suspect) looking sickly and I took her to hospital and after she recovered, I requested her to look after my two children.
She gladly accepted the offer,” added the ‘mother’. She said on the day her baby went missing, she left for the market but upon returning home, she found her child missing. “I was confused and I didn’t know what to do. When I inquired from neighbours whether they had seen my house-help and the baby, they told me they had spotted her carrying a travelling bag with the baby on her back,” said the ‘mother’.
She said the suspect had also taken the baby food and clothes, hospital records and Sh1,000. She said she called her husband and reported what had happened. Their efforts to track the suspect down were futile and they reported the matter to Baharini Police Station in Eldoret.
“It is shocking that after being arrested, she now claims the baby belongs to her,” said the ‘mother’. The suspect however she delivered the baby on May 14 at Siongiroi Hospital in Bomet County. She denied she had been employed as a househelp in Eldoret, adding that she met the other woman in Siongiroi at the home of a relative who had offered her a place to stay after child birth.
“This woman and her husband visited my relative and after hearing my case, she told me she had found a job for me at Chemamul Tea Estate and I could move in with her until I can fend for myself,” said the suspect. She said one day, the woman claiming to be the mother of the baby returned home sobbing that she had received news that her sister’s child had died.
“We went for the funeral in Western and returned to Eldoret where this woman’s family had moved to,” she said. Muchuma said the suspect said she decided to visit her relative in Kericho and she left Eldoret on September 27, the day the baby is reported to have been stolen.
“I was later arrested for alledgedly stealing the baby,” she said, strongly denying that she had been involved in the alleged crime. Complicated matter She also denied contacting the baby’s father demanding for fare to return the baby back to Eldoret. By the time of going to press, the two women had been taken to Eldoret where the matter had been first reported.
“The Eldoret OCS will carry further investigations into this matter, which could involve carrying out a DNA test to determine the baby’s biological mother,” said Muchuma, who yesterday found herself in what seemed to be a replay of Solomon’s judgement in The Bible.
The story of King Solomon of Israel is recounted where two women who lived in the same house claimed that the other, after accidentally smothering her own son while sleeping, had exchanged the two children to make it appear that the living child was hers. The other woman denied this and so both women claimed to be the mother of the living son.
After some deliberation, King Solomon called declared that the boy be split in two, each woman receiving half of the child. Upon hearing this terrible verdict, the boy’s true mother said the child should be given to the other woman. The king declared the first mother as the true mother and gave her the baby. King Solomon’s judgment is considered an example of profound wisdom.