A hospital cleaner helped the mother of a newborn to sell the infant for Sh24,500 so she could clear her maternity bill.
Ms Francisca Kamene sold her baby to a couple who made a down payment of Sh4,000 and left with the two-month-old girl, with a promise to pay the balance later, a Mombasa court heard Wednesday.
Police officer Edna Chepng’eno told senior resident magistrate Irene Ruguru that Ms Kamene owed Coast General Hospital Sh16,000 in maternity fees.
Ms Kamene delivered the little girl through Caesarean section.
“The sale was done because the mother was unable to raise the delivery fees. It is not true that the child was given to a good Samaritan for proper upkeep,” Ms Chepng’eno said.
She was giving evidence in a case in which the cleaner, Ms Rehema Kongolo, was charged with the theft of the child alongside Ms Kamene and a couple, Habiba Hussein and Juma Abdallah, who allegedly bought the baby.
The investigating officer told the court that Ms Kongolo contacted Ms Habiba and introduced her to Ms Kamene.
“Habiba agreed to purchase the child for Sh24,500, paid Sh4,000 and left with the child. She promised to pay the balance later.”
Ms Chepng’eno told the court Ms Kamene returned to her Magogo home without the child and told her husband she sold her little girl to pay the hospital bill.
The witness told the court that the woman’s husband, a water vendor in Magogo area, could not raise the maternity fees.
However, lawyer Jared Magolo, for Ms Kamene, asked the witness if she was sure that his client was neglected by her husband.
“The mother was bedridden at the hospital after a Caesarean delivery and she needed a good Samaritan to look after her and the child. Habiba and Juma showed up to settle the bill and take care of the child. Aren’t you trying to fix them?” Mr Magolo asked.
Ms Chepng’eno said the woman’s husband had disowned the child, but it was still unlawful for her to sell the baby.
The little girl is being cared for at Makande Children’s Home.
The four denied stealing the child on March 22 at the Coast General Hospital.
Habiba and Juma also denied an alternative charge of stealing the two-month-old girl when they took her.
The mother has also denied failing to protect her daughter from being sold to the couple.
The four will be put on their defence on Monday after prosecution counsel Eunice Maingi told the court she had closed the case against them.-nation.co.ke