No Justice for Baby Ryan Yet: Part 3: Suspect spotted building her house as Baby Ryan stays in Orphanage
Read Part One and Two of this Story on the Home Page and on My Blog Go Women Go. “Who did this to Baby Ryan” and “Who Will Save Baby Ryan”?
Yesterday, we paid a visit to the Saidia Orphanage in Gilgil to follow up on Baby Ryan’s story. We had agreed to leave at 6 am so we could meet the Children’s office before he left for a Wedding Ceremony. But Dorine and her stepsister Teresa showed up at Kencom Stage at 8 am. Dorine, Baby Ryan teenage mother and Teresa could not raise the Sh40 (half a dollar) from Kaloleni Estate to town. I had agreed to take care of the Day’s travel expenses and do a little shopping for Baby Ryan. Well, a neighbour finally lent them Sh40 and Dorine, Teresa, I and Transworld Journalist Mary Mwendwa took a Matatu at Nyama Kima and set off for Gilgil. Mary Mwendwa is a young Professional Media Woman under mentorship at the Media Liaison and Advocacy Centre Consultants’ Programme. We arrived at the Home at 10.45 am.
From Right: Baby Ryan, Trans World Journalist Mary Mwendwa, Dorine Odipo and her Stepsister Teresa Odipo at the Saidia Orphanage.
The handlers at the Saidia Orphanage were friendly and welcomed us warmly. We had lunch and tea and met hundreds of abandoned, neglected, sick and needy children. Baby Ryan ran and danced towards us when he saw his mother Dorine and so did the other children.
The woman who allegedly abused Baby Ryan, Evalyn Achieng’ Ouma, is at her husband’s Boniface Odipo’s home in Kajimbo Village, Nyakach. Evalyn surfaced there last week. She had gone underground after an irate mob tried to lynch her, frog-matched her to the Gilgil Police Station and handed her over to the Police. Evalyn who has been spotted at Kajimbo turned up with a lot of building materials and is doing final touches to her permanent house. Relatives suspect her husband may be around or may have sent her money for their family project.
Despite a call to a police officer in Gilgil and to the Gilgil Volunteer Children’s Officer Mr Henry Wamae, no action has been taken. Evalyn is free and on the loose as the traumatised Baby Ryan finds temporary shelter at Saidia Children’s Home.
Mr Henry Wamae, Volunteer Children’s Officer at Gilgil Children’s Department and Jane Kinuthia, Co-Founder Saidia Orphanage during the visit.
“I called my mother the moment a neighbour alerted me that my sister-in-law Evalyn was at our home. But my mother (read stepmother), said Evalyn was a new bride in her home and she could not chase her away. I called the police officer, Ms Nafula who is handling the case. I called the children’s officer Mr Henry Wamae. But nothing has happened,” says a teary Dorine Odipo.
Dorine Odipo’s story is heart-rending. It is the story of a teenage mother who had a baby at 15 while in Form Three. The family took her back to School at Tieng’re Secondary School Boarding in Kisumu County. Dorine claims she was sent home from School because she failed to clear an outstanding balance of Sh27, 000. She missed the Kenya National Examination (KNEC) Registration as a Form Four candidate. Not one to lose hope on her education, Dorine registered as a Private Candidate at the nearby District Commissioner’s Office in her Village.
Lunch hour: Dorine cries as she feeds Baby Ryan at Saidia Orphanage.
While still chasing her School fess issues at home, she got a call from Gilgil Police Station asking her to go and identify her son Baby Ryan who was a victim of child abuse. Baby Ryan had allegedly been bitten, scratched, knifed and burnt with hot oil and matchsticks and starved by Dorine’s sister-in-law Evalyn Achieng’ Ouma. The suspect had bitten Baby Ryan’s private parts and he was oozing pus and blood upon admission at Gilgil District Hospital. The P3 Form signed by a Dr Sang, Medical Officer of Health indicated the details.
Dorine comes from a large polygamous home, next to Kodingo Police Camp in Kusa, Nyakach County. Dorine’s late father had two wives. Dorine has only one brother from her mother’s house. This brother, Boniface Odipo, a KDF soldier in Somalia is Evalyn (the suspect)’s husband). The other house has 12 children. Dorine’s parents both died leaving Dorine to be raised by her stepmother. It is the same stepmother who has been taking care of Baby Ryan.
Asked why the culprit has not been apprehended, Saidia co-founder Jane Kinuthia says Evalyn needs counselling and not police arrest. “There must be something in her past that may have triggered her action, “says Kinuthia. She however admits that it is sad and unfortunate that Evalyn is at home with Dorine’s stepmother.
The Children’s Officer handling Baby Ryan’s case is said to be on leave for the last one month and will return to work on May 9th, next month. A Volunteer Children’s Officer, Mr Henry Wamae told the writer that we have to wait for the Children’s Officer to return to work. “We cannot release Ryan Brownstead from the home as he is still healing. Both mother and child are vulnerable and have no proper place to go to. But we will release Baby Ryan to his mother as soon as she is settled and can support the child.”
Although Media Liaison and Advocacy Consultants had offered Dorine a job, Wamae says this is not enough. “We must follow protocol and ensure Baby Ryan is stable. The interest of the child comes before the interest of the mother or the relatives,” a firm Wamae says.
Baby Ryan (Front Row in Navy Blue Sweater) and Mum Dorine pose for a group photo with some of his Saidia Family.
Meanwhile, Dorine has been allowed to visit her baby as often as she wants, despite the fact that she cannot raise money to travel to Gilgil.
Who will save Baby Ryan? Who will take Dorine back to School? When will justice be done so Baby Ryan’s abuser it prosecuted? Why did the police release her when she was already in their custody?
Baby Ryan in his new warm Jacket and Baby cap, poses with Saidia Manager Teresa Wahito in the Dormitory.
It was a tearful departure for both mother and child yesterday, with Dorine crying outside the gate and Baby Ryan crying inside the home. So I gave Baby Ryan a sweet as his house mother Risper carried him away. I gave Dorine a sweet too, to distract her from the sad scene. The rains pounded heavily on us as we left Gilgil and jumped into a speeding Nissan Matatu, back to Nairobi.
Who Will Save Baby Ryan – Part 2 of Who Did this To Baby Ryan?
Story and Pictures by Omwa Ombara
A crime has been committed. There is conspiracy by the Kenyan society to deny 4-year-old Baby Ryan justice. And as his teenage mother Dorine Odipo drops out of School before completing her Form Four, Baby Ryan has now found temporary shelter at the Saidia Children’s Orphanage in Gilgil. The Children’s Department, the Police, no one is willing to talk. Who will save Baby Ryan?
Baby Ryan’s mother Dorine Odipo during the interview. Who will save my baby, she pleads.
It is a wonder that Baby Ryan’s 14 aunts and uncles and other relatives never realised that the child was undergoing such inhuman torture. Dorine was called from School by Police to go and identify Baby Ryan at the Gilgil District Hospital. She told the writer: “The baby saw me and started crying. I asked him what happened. He told me he was beaten with a belt, cut slit with a knife, on the hands and forehead. He was burnt on the hands with live matchsticks. He was bitten on the right hand and uncle. The wounds were still fresh,” says Dorine. Baby Ryan’s stepmother, (Dorine’s brother’s wife who allegedly tortured him), is the wife of a Kenya Defence Force soldier currently fighting Al-Shabaab under Amison in Somalia. He is in the Paramilitary Unit.
Dorine Odipo (centre) , Step-sister Theresa Odipo and Step-brother Shem Odipo during the interview
But Baby Ryan only stayed in the hospital for three days before being released to the Saidia Orphanage. The Children’s Department is reluctant to release the baby to any member of Baby Ryan’s family.
Baby Ryan is unwell and needs treatment. He cannot control his bowels and he remains traumatised. He cries a lot and keeps to himself. Whenever a visitor goes into the home, Baby Ryan hides under the bed.
The 24-year old step-mother, who allegedly committed the crime, has gone underground. The police say they have to wait for Ryan’s uncle to come back from the war before they press charges on his wife. Meanwhile Dorine is under pressure from the family to withdraw the case. Dorine alleges that her soldier brother will not send her any more money for her School fees until she withdraws Baby Ryan’s case.
Teenage mother Dorine Odipo hopes Ryan will get justice. She has dropped out of School trying to find a way for Ryan.
But the Children’s Department and the Police will not release the Baby. The P3 form signed by the doctor is proof that Baby Ryan was tortured by a member of the family. But even if Baby Ryan was released to Dorine, she is under age and cannot support the child. Her own stepmother is the one who released Baby Ryan to the relative who allegedly abused him.
Ryan’s father who was a teenager of 17 when he impregnated Dorine, then 15 years and in Form Three is a layabout. He broke up with Dorine after impregnating her and they have not been in touch, says Dorine.
Dorine is stressed because she can no longer visit Baby Ryan. She cannot raise the Sh500 to go and see her son in Gilgil, She cannot travel back home either. She cannot raise Sh1200 to travel home. She is afraid to leave Baby Ryan behind. But she hopes and prays that someone somewhere can help her get Baby Ryan to hospital. She also hopes that one day she can go back to School. Who will save Baby Ryan?
See the original Story on Home Page – Who did this to Baby Ryan?
If anybody thinks I am going to give them my Facebook Password or delete my posts to appear “nice” they can forget it. Suddenly posts on Facebook have changed and I can no longer recognise my friends. Since word went round that Human Resources intend to ask people to give their passwords during interviews, friends have generally been on the panic mode. Friends have been deleting posts that could endanger their jobs, especially those gossiping about their bosses or indicating that they have night lives away from the office. Posts of employees showing that they are religious have taken centre stage with incessant quoting of Bible verses to show the Boss they are “good” people. Next are employees posting family outing pictures that portray them as responsible husbands and wives. This is good for one’s career as it gives the Boss the impression that you have too much responsibility and will not walk out of your job very soon. It also shows that you can make a good manager and this may favour you with a promotion. The jokes we used to share, our favourite musicians, criticisms of our politicians and celebrities are all gone.
Friends who used to post nice pictures in fashionable miniskirts and jeans are changing their profile pictures to appear more executive. The pictures have become boring and dull. I understand why my Facebook friends are suddenly undergoing metamorphosis. I was almost tempted to delete my posts last week when a friend called and informed me that his boss had sent a circular asking all staff to leave their passwords on his desk by 0ne o’clock. Staff went into panic mode, deleting sensitive posts and changing their names. One staff opted to resign.
When I joined Facebook, I knew it was a channel of communication to re-establish contacts with my old friends especially schoolmates and family who were out of the country. What I shared with my friends on Facebook were not meant for the Boss or Non-friends. In an amazing turn of events, Facebook developed a life of its own with politics and love taking centre stage. Messages of condolences also moved from the newspaper orbituary faces to Facebook. Trust Kenyans to change Facebook into a political platform. Well, I also acquired new friends and enemies some of whom I still keep for prestigious purposes and not because they add value to my life in any way.
After some soul searching I decided I would not become a hypocrite by deleting my posts. My posts are a part of me, they reflect how I live, think and feel and I will not delete them to please any Boss out there. Deleting them would be like tearing off part of my life and this would be very painful to me. Sorry, you can keep your job but let me be me! If the Boss wants to catch you on Facebook, they will do it anyway. They use fake names and lurk through your profile in the dark. They do it on Linked In too. You just need to check who has been viewing your profile and your Boss’s cheeky face will be right there smiling cleverly at you. Sometimes they use your real friends and colleagues on Facebook to read your posts. This is why Facebook often warns that you do not accept friend requests from people you do not know. From friends who call themselves Dorothea Nincompoop Fadddilas Trupus or Paipolllama Tubeerculosis Governor. That could be your Boss.
Employers remain some of the greatest perpetrators of Human Rights Abuse. Their worst abuse is killing an employee’s social life. Never considering that employees have family. With impunity and arrogance, they send you to impromptu weekend seminars, night events and 6.30 am breakfast meetings as if you have no children to drop to school. Meanwhile they join their families for dinner. Some send you on guilt trips by creating extra work and making you do late hours and weekends. One employer is notorious for dishing out assignments at exactly one minute to 5 pm just before the day is out. He then drives home to join his family for dinner as staff struggle to finish his work. He demands that the work be placed in his in-tray by 7 am the next morning. Says one employer, “When I see my staff in the office on Sunday afternoons, I really feel good. I don’t know exactly what they are doing at work but just the fact that they are not at home resting, really motivates me!” No wonder in some countries, employees have formed Support Group Networks where they vent their frustrations at work and seek each other’s advice and support. In some of these meetings they abuse the absent Bosses, criticise them and learn tricks on how to hit back at the Bosses and sabotage their companies when they resume work.
Whereas your contract says you should work from 8am to 5 pm these employers ensure you stay upto eight extra working hours with no apologies at all. The contract remains just that – a wretched piece of paper and nothing more. When you raise questions over assignments that do not adhere to your contract like making tea, going to the local shop to buy the boss scones, underwear or chacoal for her kitchen, or other additional responsibilities way out of your job description, you will immediately be identified as a troubleshooter. That is when you will be sidelined and you will find staff meetings taking place without your knowledge. A vindictive transfer letter may soon be in the offing and you may find yourself being transferred right left and centre within one year. The worst culprits are the private business owners who treat people like slaves knowing full well that there is nowhere you can take them. Employees therefore live in perpetual fear, pretending to smile when the Boss is around yet if they had a chance they would rather stab them in the back. This fear and frustration always results in stress, while some employees have factually been hospitalised from depression and stroke – thanks to the sadist Boss.
The moment you hand in a resignation letter and make the mistake of mentioning that you have found greener pasture, the Human Rights abuse begins. The employer and his cahoots start treating you like a thief. with suspicion and contempt. Some of the employers even go to great lengths to find out where you are going. They make calls ahead of your new work stations and drop some very nasty comments about you. Says Alfayo David, a lecturer at a local University. “My Boss would write you a very good recommendation letter only to follow it up with a phone call to your new Boss. He would then invite your new Boss for a cup of coffee and shred whatever he had written about you to pieces. The next time you called your expected employer not only would they be hostile. They would not respond to your calls or e-mails. The Boss would then pretend to sympathise with you and ask you if you wished to rescind your resignation letter,” Says a disgusted David.The fear and intimidation is such that no one ever writes a genuine resignation letter. By the time most employees resign, they hate the Boss so badly yet the fear that they might one day meet this Boss in some other company makes them write fake sugarcoated resignation letters just to cover their trail.
So most resignation letters in Bosses’ in-tray read this way: “This resignation letter is to inform you that I will be moving to a new company to pursue a different endeavour. While I will dearly miss this Company, XYZ, I do feel that it is time for a new challenge and a new experience (Nonsense). If you have any questions feel free to ask. I have appreciated the opportunities that have been provided to me during my ten-year stay at XYZ (Rubbish). If there is anything I can do to be of assistance during the transition, please let me know. Working with XYZ has been a wonderful experience (Nkt!) I have grown in many ways (Stunted), here and will always treasure the opportunity provided for me by XYZ.
Kind Regards (Good Riddance).
Intimidation born out of jealousy is another abuse. When an employee goes to work in a new dress or a new car, some Bosses cannot just handle it. Some female Bosses go so petty that when a female employee has a fresh manicure or pedicure, they just go nuts.They claim that the employee is idle and feel their money and time should be put to better use. Said one employee, “My female Boss raised concerns over my manicure at a Management meeting. She said I had too much time on my hands and must be given additional responsibilities. She would then walk to my desk and ask me if I needed time off to go and do my nails. I was deeply frustrated,” She confessed.
One need not get a licence from Nairobi’s Red Light District to practise prostitution. It is right there in our offices with both male and female powerful Bosses, demanding to sleep with you for a promotion. No wonder a senior manager advised his junior to try and be nice to a bully of a Boss if she wanted to retain her job.