29 November 2012

Kenya: DPP Orders Probe Into Saitoti Son Allegations

THE Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko has given police 30 days to investigate the alleged abduction of Zachary Musengi when he was a child.

Zachary is the adopted son of the late Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti. The DPP's letter dated November 21, which was produced in court yesterday, instructed the police to carry out a "speedy probe" into the allegations.

Tobiko says the gravity of the claims by a Subukia couple that Musengi is their biological son who was kidnapped at the age of three cannot be overemphasized.

Tobiko says "prompt, through and speedy investigations are required so as to establish their veracity or otherwise". His directive came after the window of the late minister went to court seeking for orders to compel Tobiko to investigate the Subukia couple, Sebastian Nguju and Elizabeth Njeri.

Margaret Saitoti wanted the DPP to probe the couple's claims and charge them if the claims were found to be false. The Subukia couple went to court in Nakuru this month to institute a private prosecution against Saitoti's widow for allegedly stealing their son. Ngunju claimed he recognized Zachary as his long lost son when he saw him on TV during the burial of the Internal Security minister on June 16.

However Zachary and Margaret have dismissed the Subukia couple as "fraudsters, pranksters or extremely insensitive persons".

In an application now pending before Justice Lenaola, the two say they have become "accustomed to all manner of correspondence ranging from attempts to extort money, blackmail, threats to our lives and other attempts to invade our privacy".

The parties who appeared before Justice Isaac Lenaola yesterday agreed to halt the case until January 10. Zachary terms the move as an affront to his constitutional right to privacy.

"The idea that I have lived my entire life as an abductee would be laughable were it not for the utterly unnecessary and despicable consequences the allegations by the interested party (Ngunju) will have on my privacy," he says.

Zachary says that it is beyond him how a "total stranger" could lay claim of paternity to a child on the basis of a picture on television and "notwithstanding that he last saw the child at the age of 3 in excess of 24 years ago".

Documents filed in court by Ngunju and his wife Njeri, say their missing son was born on September 21, 1985. The Saitoti family has produced documents showing that Zachary is two years older than Stephen Wachira who was allegedly stolen from his family home in Subukia.

Their documents indicate that Zachary 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.

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