A woman was Wednesday arraigned at the Nanyuki law courts and charged with selling her daughter for Sh28,500.

Ms Esther Etale, her sister Jane Watare and a third woman, Jane Wanjiru, appeared before Principal Magistrate Jane Njeri and denied charges of contravening child adoption rules.

A police report indicates that Ms Etale, 26, was arrested alongside Ms Watare after neighbours reported that they had sold the 5-year-old girl to the third suspect, Ms Wanjiru, last week.

According to Narumoru Nyumba Kumi chairman Paul Wagacha, the girl was one of several vulnerable children who were beneficiaries of a feeding programme started by area locals.

“The feeding programme is meant to help children whose parents are too poor to offer three meals a day, to reduce the number of street children in Narumoru town,” said Wagacha.

The girl is said to have missed her morning cup of porridge and lunch on June 11, which prompted the children’s cook to alert Wagacha.

When the Nyumba Kumi official attempted to contact Etale, her relatives said she had sold her daughter, who is one of her five children.

“I reached out to the police and sought their help in tracing the girl. Her mother led us to Matanya village, where she was living with another woman who had allegedly paid for her,” the chairman said.

In her ruling, Magistrate Njeri said pending a report from a probation officer, and a second report on the girl’s welfare from a children’s officer, the accused women be detained at the Narumoru Police Station.

The bail hearing was set for July 8.