A Nairobi court has sentenced two social workers found guilty of child trafficking and neglect of duty at the Mama Lucy hospital.
Fred Leparan and Selina Adundo, who are former employees of the now-disbanded Nairobi Metropolitan Services(NMS) were charged with the offences of selling children from the health facility in Embakasi Central within Nairobi two years ago.
In 2021, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired an exposé in which the first accused, Fred Makallah Leparan, was caught selling a child who had been abandoned at the hospital for Sh300,000. Three children were transferred to the buyer who was a BBC undercover agent.
Fred was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit a felony, namely trafficking in persons, three (3) counts of trafficking in persons, and three (3) counts of child neglect.
Selina Adundo was convicted on three (3) counts of child neglect. The court acquitted her on a count of conspiracy to commit a felony, namely trafficking, as well as three (3) counts of trafficking in persons.
On the count of neglecting official duties, Awuor was found guilty of failing to stop Makallah from trafficking the three children despite being aware that he was engaging in child theft.
On Wednesday, senior principal magistrate Esther Kimilu sentenced Fred to 35 years in jail.
“He lacks empathy for them and was not remorseful. I sentence the first accused as follows, 3 years count in count of conspiracy to traffic children, count 2,3, and 4 to 30 years for trafficking three children and count 6 and 7 to two years for child negligence,” Magistrate Kimilu ruled.
The court specified that Leparan will spend 25 years in confinement and an additional 10 years on probation under strict supervision.
Selina Adundo on the other hand received a 2-year non-custodial sentence or a fine of KSh300,000.
The court issued a warning that the two convicts should not be involved in any matters concerning children. Additionally, the judge ordered the release of the children for adoption.