BY SAMUEL RAMTU FOR EDAILY
A 25-year-old woman, who formerly worked as a house help in Kariobangi South in Nairobi, has been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and forcing a minor to drink a carbonated beverage laced with pesticide.
Jacinta Kanini Muiya, who is being held at the Buruburu police station, is being accused of abduction and attempted murder.
Muiya worked as the house help of Florence Wanjera between October 25, 2016 and June 6, 2017.
Muiya allegedly kidnapped Kephas Muigai, Wanjera’s 9-year-old son, on Thursday, June 8th 5pm at Smart Kids Academy in Kariobangi South.
According to a report filed at the Buruburu police station, Muiya took the boy from school Thursday evening and boarded a taxi with him to her 27-year-old boyfriend’s place in California Estate, Eastleigh.
Muiya’s boyfriend, Lucas Sirengo, was not home at the time. Muiya would call him on phone and requested for the key to Sirengo’s house, saying she had a luggage that she wanted to put inside the house.
Muiya’s boyfriend told her to go pick the house key where he was, not far away, which she did.
On returning, she locked 9-year-old Kephas Muigai inside Sirengo’s house.
Muiya would, later the same evening, buy a new SIM card and register it under the name of Batula Shariff Yussuf using an identity card that she had obtained illegally.
Muiya then sent a text message to Muigai’s mother, Florence Wanjera, demanding a ransom of Ksh100, 000.
Muiya had warned Wanjera that if she (Wanjera) reported Muigai’s abduction to the police, she (Muiya) was going to kill the 9-year-old boy.
Wanjera sent Ksh10, 010 and pleaded for more time to raise the remaining Ksh89, 990.
From the mobile money transfer message, Wanjera recalled having seen her house help with an identity card of one Batula Shariff Yussuf, which gave her a clue on who the suspect was.
Wanjera then reported the matter to the police, who launched a manhunt for the suspect.
Muiya was traced to a house in Huruma, Nairobi.
On receiving the money, Muiya withdrew Ksh9, 000 and went to Eastleigh, where he removed the boy from the hideout and took him to a shop, where he bought a bottle of soda and an insecticide called Confidor.
Muiya allegedly mixed one sachet of Confidor with the soda and forced the boy to drink the mixture “so that he could die”.
According to a website shedding light on the harmful effects of Confidor, the pesticide is highly poisonous if swallowed by humans and the website warns if that happens, “call a poison control centre or doctor immediately for treatment advice”.
Muiya, would at 9pm on Thursday, June 8, take Mugai to a matatu stage, where she told a tout operating a matatu plying the Eastleigh route to drop him at the KDF Moi Airbase gate.
On reaching the KDF Moi Airbase stage, and being the only passenger left in the matatu, the tout was hesitant to leave the boy alone as he looked ill.
The tout asked Muigai for his parents’ phone numbers, which he (Muigai) gave out.
The tout phoned Muigai’s father to inform him of the whereabouts of their child, who at the time had been handed over to the police.
After narrating his ordeal to the police, Muigai was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and discharged.
Police officers then embarked on a manhunt for the suspect using GPS technology.
Muiya was arrested at the house of Pastor Christopher Muindi Mutunga of Evangelism Fellowship Centre in Huruma.
Police recovered two mobile phones, one of which had been used to demand the ransom; two sachets of Confidor pesticide, two identity cards belonging to her and Batula Shariff Yussuf and Ksh5, 000.
Muiya is being held at the Buruburu police station. She is slated to appear in court on charges of abduction and attempted murder as soon as investigations are concluded.