Two suspected human traffickers were Sunday evening arrested in what police say was an aborted bid to steal a child from the city centre in Nairobi.
The two women identified as Jane Wangari Mwangi and Emily Shanize had attempted to escape with a one year old child before the mother raised alarm and gave chase.
Nairobi Central Police Boss Patrick Oduma told reporters the two would be arraigned in court and be charged with attempted kidnapping.
“We are informed that these women were trying to escape with the child, we have arrested them and we will take them to court tomorrow,” he said.
The woman identified as Jane wore a pink dress and tight black trousers, a common feature among Nairobi youthful women.
Her identification showed she was born in 1995 in Embakasi, Nairobi. She had combed hair, had a white scarf wrapped around her neck and wore flat shoes.
She cried all the way to the police station, pleading innocence.
She claimed she was a student of Kitchen Management at a Nairobi college.
The other woman identified as Shanize had no identification documents on her. She also claimed to be a student too.
She however said she had not attended classes for the past two months because she has been unable to raise fees.
The incident began at around 4 pm.
The mother, Ms Mumbi Njiru had taken her daughter for skating lessons at the Skate Park near at the Aga Khan Walk.
With her too was her one-year-old son.
The place is often used as a parking bay but is converted into a skating park during Sundays for kids to train.
According to the mother, her daughter was to be trained by a group of youths as she watched over her son in a baby pram.
“I often bring my daughter here to train in skating every Sunday. I know these boys, so I wasn’t initially worried about the child,” Ms Njiru said.
“But then there were these two women who offered to comfort the child by walking him around.
I accepted because I could keep an eye on both. The two were at the park where I could see them,” she said.
But things became dramatic when the two women first attempted to disappear via a corridor near Uchumi Supermarket, but changed their mind upon realising they were being watched.
Later, they disappeared via Harambee Avenue as though they were headed to Moi Avenue.
The mother waited for a few minutes before she realised they were gone.
“I later told some of the boys who were skating to help me give chase.
The women kept moving and the boys informed me they had entered the Hilton Hotel,” she said.
At the Hilton Hotel, security guards arrested the two after the mother had informed them the women were running away with her child.
Changing story versions
The women were then locked up in a cell until the police arrived.
As the police drove them to the station, they kept shouting, claiming they had been fixed.
They claimed that they had informed the mother that they were to pick camera batteries from the Hotel.
They also claimed to be the woman’s cousins before changing that version of their story.
Later, they admitted they had not informed the mother of their intention to move from the park and that they had not stolen the child because they knew they could find her at the skate park.
Later, Shanize disowned this theory, saying that she was duped into accompanying Jane to the hotel and that she was therefore not to blame.
The two will appear in court Monday.