More children busted in bar as parents protest

Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Millicent Muthoni Kithinji at Milimani Law Courts where the prosecution applied to detain her and three others for seven days to enable police complete investigations after they were arrested at Mountain View estate. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Another group of 21 teenagers was on Sunday night arrested drinking in a bar in Webuye, Bungoma county, in eerily similar circumstances as the group that was nabbed in a Nairobi estate on Saturday. 

And in a bizarre move yesterday, some parents of the 44 children arrested while binge-drinking in Nairobi turned their anger against the police, whom they said had no business judging their children.

The Webuye incident came as four suspects alleged to have organised the Saturday night orgy in Mountain View estate, Nairobi, appeared in court and were detained for seven days to allow police conclude investigations.

The four, who included the woman in whose house the event took place, Millicent Muthoni Kithinji, businessmen David Kibe Wambui, George Kamau Muthoni and Michael Murega, will be remanded at Kabete police station.

“The officers, on searching the compound, managed to recover condoms, grams of bhang and assorted empty bottles of alcoholic drinks,” the prosecution told the court yesterday.

Tip off by public

In the Webuye incident, the Bungoma East police commander Valerian Obore said they pounced on the 21 youngsters aged between 14 and 17 years following a tip off from the public.

The children, who had joined a birthday party of one Selina Khisa, aged 21 years, were found drinking and engaging in “amorous” activities, according to the police boss.

‘’It was on Sunday evening when we got a report that young boys and girls had entered Santa Barbra Bar and restaurant and my officers swung into action and arrested 14 girls and seven boys who were enjoying themselves,” said the police boss.

Obore said the girl who had hosted the birthday party, the caretaker of the bar and the DJ who was playing music were all arrested and detained at Webuye police station.

He said the minors will be detained until their parents report to the station to collect them.

In Nairobi, the four suspects in the Mountain View estate incident who appeared before the Milimani court yesterday were charged with supplying drugs and alcohol to minors.

The court heard that Wambui and Muthoni, who are businessmen in the area, were involved in supplying drugs and alcohol to the 44 teenagers.

Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruyiot heard that detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations found the youngsters at Kithinji’s residence holding a party without observing the laid down Covid 19 protocols.

The court heard that officers discovered that the 44 teenagers, 18 girls and 26 boys aged between 13 and 17 years, were drawn from Kiambu, Nairobi and Machakos counties.

Children’s Services

The children were handed over to the Department of Children Services.

“First respondent (Kithinji) was aware that such a party was being held in her compound having been informed by her son who they reside with, in the same compound,” the court was told.

“It is suspected that the respondents are part of the organisers of the event and they lure the teenagers through social media platforms i.e.

Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and others,” read an affidavit by Julius Oguma, the investigating officer.

Parents and relatives of the youngsters meanwhile camped at the Kabete police station for the better part of yesterday demanding to have their sons and daughters released to them.

The parents, who said they had camped at the station since Saturday night, at one point threatened to cause a scene if the children were not set free.

“As parents, we have not been briefed on what actually happened. The other wrong thing the officers are doing is to take statements from the children without the presence of a parent or guardian,” said an angry parent whose child was in custody.

The parents claimed security agencies were in contravention of the law by holding their children in police cells for more than 24 hours.

“I will cause a scene here if my kid will not be released today, who gave them the mandate to judge parents, are they moral cops?” an enraged parent asked.

Son of politician

According to sources, one of the arrested teenagers is a son to a vocal Kiambu politician.

“He (MP) came here on Saturday to check on him but refused to influence the officers to release him.

To show solidarity with other parents, he offered to sponsor lunch and breakfast to the other children who were arrested,” one of the guardians who sought anonymity said.

“The children might have erred but they should not brand us names, parenting is tricky in this 21st Century,” said one parent who accused officers at the station of calling them “wazazi wa bash” (parents of partying children).

A man who identified himself as a brother of one of those arrested claimed his sibling was above 18, but had not carried his identity card to prove his age.

He said those who had carried their national identity cards had been taken to court while those below 18 remained in custody.

“The mistake was to carry their identity cards. My brother has completed Form Four but lied he was 17 years,” said the man.

At the station, the girls were held in a separate room at the Gender Unit.

by Yusuf Masibo, Bernice Mbugua and Bernard Gitau

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