Capital FM (Nairobi)

16 November 2012

Kenya: Saitoti Family Gets Reprieve in 'Stolen' Son Claims

Photo: Capital FM
Zachary Musengi, far right, stands next to his mother, Margaret, as they mourn the late George Saitoti.

Nairobi — The High Court has temporarily stopped a case by a couple who are claiming to be parents of Zachary Musengi, the son of the late Internal Security Minister George Saitoti.

Justice Isaac Lenaola sitting in Nairobi temporarily halted the criminal case lodged in Nakuru by the couple following an application by Margaret Saitoti and her son.

Justice Lenaola issued the order after lawyer Fred Ngatia argued that the proceedings commenced by the couple ought to be terminated as they are extremely damaging and violating the fundamental rights of Zachary and his mother.

The judge has now directed Saitoti's family to serve Sebastian Maina Ngunju and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to facilitate hearing on November 28.

In the urgent application, Mrs Saitoti contends that Zachary was not abducted in Subukia or anywhere else as alleged.

She says that Zachary was born in Nairobi on September 8, 1983 and that together with her late husband brought him up and took him to school on his first day in January 1987 at New Muthaiga Kindergarten.

"I had never heard, met or interacted at any level with Sebastian Maina or his wife," she argues.

The proceedings in Nakuru, Margaret alleges: "Rank as one of the most despicable, callous and vicious efforts to seek improper advantage from me and my family."

After the proceedings were instituted, Margaret avers that she has been receiving communication from emissaries of the Subukia couple urging her to accede to the request for a meeting to "discuss" how the matter can be resolved.

Like her son, the aggrieved widow goes on to say that words cannot express the harm that the alleged parents have caused her and her family following such "pervasive publication of false allegations in the media."

In addition, Margaret says that no matter the deep sense of loss the couple feels regarding their missing son, they have no right to take such callousness and grief to other families as they have done to "me and my son".

On his part, Zachary says he is distressed by the proceedings which are an attempt to profit from his fathers' death.

"I feel a sense of inconsolable grief and loss that on the basis of falsehoods recklessly peddled before a court in an attempt to profit from my late father's death I have lost my constitutional right to privacy," he pleads.

Zachary claims that in the course of the many years that his late father served in the public service, his family became accustomed to all manner of attempts to extort money, blackmail and threats to invade their privacy.

Zachary says he has no desire to meet Maina, his wife or their children and it is his wish that his privacy be protected and a correction made regarding the false information peddled in the press by the respondents.

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