Twelve children who have been living in a pathetic condition were early on Monday rescued from a pastor’s house in Gichocho village, Riabai sub-location in Kiambu County.
The 5.00a.m operation led by the area OCPD, Isaac Kimutus was largely peaceful as the owner of the home Pastor James Ng’ang’a co-operated with the security personnel.
The rescue operation was as a result of a court order issued on March 1, 2019 and signed by the Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate, Stella Atambo.
The magistrate issued the order after the Kiambu Sub-County Children’s Officer, Rachel Karanja made an application for closure of the home situated in Gichocho village in the outskirts of Kiambu town.
The officer noted in her application that the children needed to be rescued following the deplorable condition in which they were living.
When the team arrived at the scene, security officers using spotlights cordoned off the home as the Officer Commanding Station knocked on the door and identified himself.
The pastor took long before opening the door, claiming he was dressing. KNA noted that all the children were sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
Upon opening the door, the girls were found in one room sharing on one big mattress, while the boys were sleeping in the adjacent room. Remains of the previous night’s supper were on the table in the seating room and the house appeared unkempt.
After being rescued, the children were temporarily held at the Kiambu Kenya News Agency offices pending presentation in court as children in need of care and protection.
The sub-county children’s officer said the pastor had been playing hide and seek game with the office for years.
Ms. Karanja said the pastor first started operating the home in Kahawa West, then moved to Kiambu and after inspection, he relocated to Limuru and finally to Gichocho location.
During verification exercise done before presentation in court, Karanja expressed concern that none of the children was an orphan. “All the children have parents and at times they go visiting their parents during holidays,” she said.
The children looked relaxed during the entire process and were even served with breakfast at the Information office.
The pastor was later driven to the Kiambu police station where he recorded a statement while waiting to appear in court for making children to be in need of care and protection.
Meanwhile, the Kiambu sub-county Area Advisory council revealed that the government was in the process of closing down illegal children homes so that children were allowed to live in the family set-up.
Kenya is among two other nations, Guatemala and Moldova which have embarked on a process to close down unwarranted children homes.
By Lydia Shiroya