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Emotions run high as mother jailed for hawking in Nairobi reunites with baby after 9 months

“On August 8, 2023 I was set free. I went back to the day care that I left my baby only to hear that she had been handed over to police two days before,” Waithera recounted.

Beth Waithera embraces her baby [Citizen Digital]

Beth Waithera, a mother who was arrested and jailed for hawking in the streets of Nairobi, has finally reunited with her young baby after nine months.

On what began as a normal day for her in July 2023, Beth took her child to a daycare facility and headed to the streets of Nairobi where she eked out a living as a hawker.

Luck was however not on her side on this day as Nairobi County Council Officers, popularly known as ‘kanjo’ came calling, arresting her alongside several hawkers.

Citizen Digital that covered her story reported that she was taken to Kamukunji Police Station where she spent the night away from her young baby, hoping that her troubles would end soon and they would be reunited.

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The next day, Waithera was arraigned in a court at City Hall and slapped with a fine of Sh10,000 or a one-month jail term.

Unable to raise the fine, Waithera went to jail with a heavy heart, not knowing what would become of her baby.

Her only hope at the time was that the day care where she had left her baby would take good care of the child until they reunite at the end of her jail term.

When she failed to pick the baby at the daycare following her arrest and subsequent jail term, the facility brought the matter to the attention of the police.

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The toddler would then end up in the custody of Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK).

“On August 8, 2023 I was set free. I went back to the day care that I left my baby only to hear that she had been handed over to police two days before,” Waithera recounted as published by Citizen Digital.

Upon her release, Waithera began the search for her baby at the daycare facility, then to the police station and was eventually referred to the Child Welfare Society of Kenya (CWSK).

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She was guided and began the process of taking back her baby.

This included undergoing a DNA test to confirm that she was the baby’s mother, as well as follow up on her arrest.

After completing the process, with DNA test results also confirming her as the toddler’s mother, Waithera was eventually reunited with her baby on Saturday in an emotional reunion that saw her overwhelmed by emotions.

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