An employee at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, Fred Leparan, has been handed a 35-year jail sentence for dealing in child trafficking. Fred’s co-worker, Selina Adundo, was fined Sh300,000 or six years in jail in default.
Leparan, working as a social worker, was caught in a meticulously planned scheme to sell an abandoned child from Mama Lucy Hospital. He was apprehended while negotiating with an undercover journalist, ultimately leading to his sentencing.
Leparan would serve 25 years in prison and an additional 10 years on probation. Meanwhile, his accomplice, Adundo, received a two-year non-custodial sentence or a fine of Sh100,000.
The court’s verdict highlighted the defendants’ disregard for their duty of care toward the three children involved in the case, emphasizing their guilt in exposing the children to potential harm.
Furthermore, the court determined that Leparan and Adundo had violated the ethical standards expected of social workers.
The magistrate presiding over the case also referenced a BBC documentary that shed light on conversations involving child trafficking between Fred, the whistleblower, and a woman named Rose, who posed as a child buyer.
The court questioned why, if Rose intended to purchase one child, the others were not allowed to go free as per the discharge procedure. The judgment emphasized that Fred had acted against the principles and ethics of social work when he decided to hand over the children to Rose.
The prosecution presented evidence showing that between March 1, 2020, and November 16, 2020, at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Embakasi Central, Nairobi, Fred Leparan and others conspired to commit the felony of trafficking.
During the court proceedings, a witness recounted how Leparan accepted Sh300,000 from a journalist as part of an illegal transaction involving abandoned babies at the hospital.
In this exchange, Leparan asked the buyer, a woman named Rose, about her gender preference for the child.
Rose, however, expressed that gender did not matter as long as the child was healthy. Leparan’s response, confirming the child’s health, clearly indicated his intent to steal and sell the child.
The court’s verdict sends a strong message against child trafficking and underscores the severity of the crime, with Leparan receiving a significant prison sentence for his actions.