Africa 

Domestic house help watches while baby chokes to death

On December 14, last year, Mr Steve Opar and his wife Wendy Audrey left their son in the care of their house help at St Mary’s Estate in Nakuru Town, as they usually did.

Mr Opar, a lawyer, was in Nyahururu, Laikipia County, when he received a call from a neighbour at around 5pm.

“The caller told me that my son was dying after choking on food.” Confused and shaken, he asked the neighbour to take the child to the War Memorial Hospital, as he sped back to Nakuru.

“Since he was my only child, Baby Jayden [Blessing] meant everything to me. As I drove back, I called my wife and told her to also rush to the hospital,” he said.

DEAD ON ARRIVAL

On reaching the hospital, Mrs Opar was told her baby had been pronounced dead on arrival.

“I did not even get to celebrate his first birthday, which was in a month’s time. It was the most painful moment of my life,” she said.

Mr Opar had to remain strong as he consoled his wife on their way home.

But on arrival, they found that the 23-year-old house help was missing, raising suspicion about her role in their child’s death. They had hired her about two months earlier.

Ms Naomi Wambui, the neighbour who had called Mr Opar, said she was told by Mr Opar’s 16-year-old brother that the child was in a serious condition.

“I rushed into the house and found the house help watching television. When I asked her where the child was, she gestured towards the bedroom. I was shocked to find the child lying on the bed on his back before I called his parents,” she said

Investigations have been launched by police after the Opars reported the matter to Teacher’s Police Post in Nakuru Town.

LOOKING FOR REPLACEMENT

Mrs Opar tearfully recalled that she became suspicious of the house help when Baby Jaden started crying whenever she carried him, adding that she had been looking for a replacement.

“I started feeling uncomfortable with the stories that she used to tell. She once told us that her friend in Nairobi had left her employer’s child in a refrigerator when she disagreed with him,” she recalled.

The baby was buried on December 18, but the couple are yet to come to terms with the loss.

She came with her three-year-old son but had two other children back in her rural home in Oyugis in Homabay County.

Mr Opar has appealed to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the house girl to report to the nearest police station.

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