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Father expresses fears of separation from children

A father is on the verge of being separated from his children after their mother initiated the process of changing the children’s identities on birth certificates for the processing of passports to relocate to Europe.

Salim Awadh, a Mariakani resident is embroiled in a bitter tussle with his estranged wife over the custody of two minors aged nine and seven and a half years.

In 2017, the minor’s parents were granted equal access and responsibility by the Tononoka Children court but the mother contravened the orders by denying Awadh access to his children.

Awadh decries interference by Police Officers from Nairobi who are working in cahoots with a sponsor in Europe to separate him from his children.

“My grievance is that they are Police Officers from Nairobi who are interfering with my case sponsored by a person in Europe, I don’t know the sponsor’s interest in my children,” he said adding that the children’s names in birth certificates have been changed.

He went on: “Their photographs have been taken for processing of passports and soon they will be taken abroad. I am worried I will be separated from my children anytime,” said Awadh.

He says the children were neglected when they were under the custody of their mother prompting him to use the children’s office and children’s court to be given access to the minors.

“My estranged wife ran with the children to Nairobi, he denied me access. We were granted equal custody whereby I was allowed to take them during the holiday,” he elucidated.

Mombasa High Court Judge Gregory presiding over the case on custody of children involving Salim Awadh and his estranged wife. Photos by Haniel Mengistu.

Awadh got a call from his son in Nairobi lamenting that they had been left for two days with no food and the youngest was indisposed. He travelled to Nairobi and reported to the Children’s Office in Embakasi and was allowed to take the children.

He later moved to Tononoka Children’s Court and was granted custody of the children.

A warranty of arrest was issued against the wife for contravening orders of Tononoka by not returning the children to their father.

Her estranged wife was summoned to the Mombasa High Court and got a reprieve of custody of the children as per the Tononoka court directive as the case continues. However, the minors caused drama at the court precincts after they refused to go with their mother.

“I was told to bring them but the children have refused to go with their mum, they say their mum mistreated them yet they are being forced,” said Awadh.

Awadh’s Lawyer Dominic Kanaya says his client has been adhering to custody orders issued by Tononoka Court and wants the court to give a direction on children custody.

On his part, Mombasa High Court Judge Gregory Mutai said that both parents should have access to the children pending the conclusion of the case.

“I have not made any order on access and custody. We just follow the orders from the subordinate court,” said Judge Mutai.

By Sadik Hassan

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