Tanzanian pastor, two assistants charged with stealing child

In Summary

• Tanzanian woman says she has been unable to get a child.

A Tanzania pastor, her assistant and a confidante were on Monday charged with stealing a Kenyan child.

Lucresia Magabi, the pastor, her assistant Jackson Onchari and Dorcas Nyonchora were arrested on July 20 at Isebania Border Yard which is a crossing to Tanzania with a one-and-a-half-month-old boy.

They were planning to cross over to Tanzania with the boy.

 

They were both charged with child theft contrary to section 174 of the Penal Code.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate Linus Mesa of Kehancha court, the three denied the charges.

A Tanzania pastor, her assistant and a confidante were on Monday charged with stealing a Kenyan child. See story https://bit.ly/30MNF67

State Counsel Mark Mong'are said during the time of the arrest, the child was not named and he was given the title James Bahati.

Speaking at the court, Magabi said she is a Tanzania married to a Kenyan and she has been unable to get a child, until she was informed that a pregnant woman in Nairobi who could not take care of her due child was selling her infant.

“She gave birth on July 14 and I was told to go over and buy the child. On July 18, I was  told to pick the infant up or someone else will take him,” she said.

She said she met with the woman in Nairobi, paid for the infant for an unspecified amount and was heading home when she was arrested.

The pastor said she was ready to compel the Nairobi woman who sold the infant to be produced in court to help her with the case, insisting she was not aware of adoption laws in Kenya.

 

“The matter is a subject of investigation, adoption is done through a court process and there are restriction if it is across the border,” the magistrate explained to her through a translator.

Her assistant, Ochanri, said he was not aware of what was going on and was arrested after police inquired if the pastor was pregnant.

“I help her in church and at her home, I was asked by police if she has ever been pregnant and I said no, I was later arrested and don’t know of the issue,” he said.The third defendant did not object..

The state sought to hold the suspects for 14 days to complete investigations which the court reduced to seven working days with hearing set for July 29.

The infant has been taken to a children's home in Migori county as police proceed with investigations.