The Star (Nairobi)

15 November 2012

Kenya: Zachary Not the Missing Boy - Saitoti Kin

THE Saitoti family have produced documents showing that their adopted son Zachary Musengi could not be the child stolen from a Nakuru teacher in 1988.

At the same time, the Nakuru court yesterday gave the primary schoolteacher the go-ahead to file court papers on Margaret Saitoti, the widow of the late Prof George Saitoti.

Lawyers for Prof Saitoti's family insist that Zachary Musengi is two years older than Stephen Wachira who was allegedly stolen from his family home in Subukia.

Documents provided by a Saitoti family lawyer indicate that Musengi was born on September 8, 1983 and enrolled at New Muthaiga Kindergarten in 1987.

In 1988 he went to another kindergarten in Westlands when he was allegedly 6 years and 2 months old, not three years old as claimed by the Ngunju family.

He joined Strathmore School in 1990 for primary education but left in 1992 having completed the approved course for standard three (second term).

The Saitoti family believe that the claims of stealing a child could have been fabricated to divert attention from the ongoing inquiry into the death of the former minister in a helciopter crash on June 10 at Ngong Kibiku forest.

Documents filed in court by teacher Sebastian Maina Ngunju and his wife Elizabeth Njeri, both aged 55, show that their missing son was born on September 21, 1985. He was the third born in a family of five.

The couple searched for their son ever since he allegedly went missing in 1988 when he was three years old. They filed a complaint with police in 1988 reporting the disappearance. At one point a woman was charged with stealing the child but was acquitted by court.

Ngunju has now filed a case against Prof Saitoti's wife Margaret accusing her of stealing his son and concealing the kidnapping. In his affidavit, filed in court on November 8, Ngunju claimed that he and his wife are the parents of Zachary Musengi, Saitoti's adopted son.

The Subukia couple wants the court to give them permission to privately prosecute Prof Saitoti's widow for allegedly concealing a kidnapped person.

Ngunju claimed that he recognised Musengi as his long lost son after he saw him on TV during the funeral of the late Internal Security minister on June 15.

The Saitoti family is planning to file a counter claim in the case as they insist that Musengi is their son. Among their documentary evidence is a passport for Musengi showing that he was born in Nairobi 29 years ago.

Yesterday Nakuru Principal Magistrate James Mwaniki ordered Sebastian Maina Ngunju to serve Margaret Saitoti with his suit where he is seeking to privately prosecute her before the court can rule on the matter. Ngunju has also been ordered to serve Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko to appear as an interested party.

Ngunju, through his lawyer Hari Gakinya, was also directed to file a proposed charge sheet to be used in the private prosecution if his application is allowed.

The proposed charge sheet showed that Ngunju intended to charge Mrs Saitoti with wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement a kidnapped or abducted person contrary to Section 261 of the Penal Code Cap 63.

The charge sheet stated that around August 31, 1988, she unlawfully concealed Zachary Musengi Saitoti knowing that he had been abducted from his parents home in Subukia district. Ngunju and his wife are listed as witnesses.

Yesterday Ngunju's lawyer told court that they would soon be serving Mrs Saitoti and the DPP. The magistrate granted him a mention date on November 27.

Ngunju told the court that a lady named Mary Wambui was prosecuted for the kidnapping but the charges against her were never proved leading to her acquittal.

"At the time of her arrest, the woman confessed to the police that she had been contacted by a police officer who has since died who directed her to get him a child," the teacher said in his court documents.

He said he was approached by CID officers and special branch to drop the case as his son was "at the Vice President's house and that he had already been taken abroad for studies."

He said that when he spotted Zachary during the burial seated next to Saitoti's widow, he immediately recognised his son as he "resembled my children."

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