CHILD ABUSE

Four children starved, beaten and Machakos mum arrested

Children at Grape Vine Children Home in Utawala, 1child had died; mum pregnant again

In Summary

• Police rescue four children allegedly abused by mother, investigate  mysterious death of another child.

•Pregnant mum arrested; to be taken to court on Monday to face charges of child neglect and abuse.

 

Mueni Mwanza holding her child during her arrest at Mtituni village in Machakos county on Saturday, July 3.
CHILDREN RESCUED: Mueni Mwanza holding her child during her arrest at Mtituni village in Machakos county on Saturday, July 3.
Image: GEORGE OWITI

They say blood is thicker than water — but not all the time.

Four children, aged two to 15, have been rescued and their biological mother arrested for allegedly mistreating them in Mitituni, Machakos county.

Mueni Mwanza was held at Mitituni police post after police officers, provincial administrators and officials from the children's department raided her small, single-room mud house at Mitituni village in Machakos subcounty on Saturday.

Machakos subcounty children officer Emily Kimanzi said the single- mother’s children were all rescued and placed at Grape Vine Children’s Home in Utawala, Nairobi.

The raid followed complaints from neighbour and administrators. Kimanzi obtained a court order to rescue the children and arrest the mother.

She will be arraigned on Monday on charges of child neglect, among others, on Monday.

“We have today rescued four children from their mother at Mitutuni village. All the children have been through hell from their biological mother who treats them as if they were not of her own,” Kimanzi told reporters during the rescue.

Kimanzi said all the children were malnourished while their mother was pregnant again. Friends and neighbours said the biological fathers were not known.

She said the woman was not married and lived a seemingly carefree life though she was the children's sole breadwinner.

“The firstborn isn’t in school, we took him to school last week but he sneaked out. We don’t know where he is, we are looking for him. All the children have been living with their mother in the single room under pathetic conditions,” Kimanzi said.

She alleged the children had also been assaulted and said her second-born died under mysterious mysterious circumstances three years ago.

“We don’t know what caused the girl’s death three years back. It has been difficult to track the woman and my efforts to rescue the children have been faced with lots of obstacles,” Kimanzi said.

She said the children were taken for medical examination as plans to place them in schools were underway.

“The youngest child has pneumonia due to the cold. They are all malnourished and need medication, protection, care and education,” Kimanzi said.

The children's officer said she had been following the case since last year after she received reports on the woman and their suffering children  from both the public and provincial administrators.

Kimanzi warned parents and caretakers against mistreating children. She said the law will take its course to ensure children rights are adhered to and protected.

(Edited by V. Graham)

 

Mueni Mwanza's house where she was arrested at Mtituni village in Machakos County on Saturday, July 3.
HOVEL: Mueni Mwanza's house where she was arrested at Mtituni village in Machakos County on Saturday, July 3.
Image: GEORGE OWITI