Plight of Mother Denied Custody for 5-Year Old Son Goes Viral

File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.
  • The story of Lucy Wangui Wairimu is a touchy tale after the young woman was denied custody of her five and a half-year-old son over claims that she was mentally ill.

    She on December 25 shared her story online, which immediately went viral and elicited mixed reactions from members of the public.

    Speaking to on Sunday, December 27, 2020, Wairimu narrated how her son was taken from her and she was barred from seeing him by the child’s father. She revealed that she has only managed to see her son three times in 2020.

    Wairimu narrated that she and her then-husband lived in Nairobi, and a split between the two happened when they had retreated to their upcountry home in Lanet for the holiday in December 2019.

    File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.

    She attributed their woes to a time when she and Kimemia’s sister had been assigned chore’s and Kimemia had asked her to an extra duty.

    “I remember one day, his father had come out of surgery and there were visitors. My ex-husband’s youngest sister and I were the ones assigned all duties and had to do everything. We were so tired and I remember telling his sister that we should take a rest because we were to everything even after the visitors left.

    “In the evening, he came and asked to wash his clothes. I asked why he did not bring them earlier, and furthermore, I was so busy. He got angry that I had refused,” Wairimu narrated.

    At the end of that day, she retreated to her grandmother’s place in Nakuru.

    “The following morning he came to quarrel at my grandmother’s place. He was so angry and said he does not want anything to do with me anymore. That is when he said that he was going back to Nairobi and would go with my son.

    “When I asked him why, he said that he had paid Maina’s school fees for two terms. I did not get the logic, but you see this entire time I knew the only reason we were fighting is that I had refused to wash his clothes. All this time I thought we would reconcile,” she added.

    After sometime the husband visited Wairimu’s home accompanied by his sister and their son, after which he repeatedly told her grandmother that she was mentally ill. And after a tense quarrel, they left.

    Wairimu stated that she remained disturbed by the fact he kept calling her a madwoman. She revealed that issues between them worsened on December 26, 2019, when he refrained from returning her calls.

    In January 2020, their relationship had deteriorated and she sought to retrieve her clothes from her ex’s home. All this time he barred her from being with their son. He had also blocked her mobile number, and so she could not reach him on the phone.

    “Before the Covid-19 outbreak in April, I asked him if I could see my son during the midterm period. At first, he said yes. Then later, he told me that I walked out on them and therefore I could not see my son,” Wairimu narrated.

    “I asked him if we could reconcile and he told me I am the one person he hates the most in this world. I then asked if I could see my son during the holiday,” she recounted.

    Following the closure of schools owing to the pandemic, he brought my son to me. However, he kept calling him every morning and evening asking if he has eaten, when will he go back, they miss him, and Wairimu noted that it discomforted their son.

    She resorted to taking his son to her uncle who lives 10 minutes away so that Maina could enjoy the company of other children almost his age. However, the son’s father kept calling the child and even went to visit him.

    When Wairimu went for her son, he came and asked that he take the child. He had stated that if she wanted to stay with Maina, she should not have taken him to stay with her uncle.

    “He was quarrelling with my grandmother and she told him to take the child. He then told me to pack his clothes and give him our son’s birth certificate and that is how they left,” Wairimu narrated.

    Since then, she was blocked from seeing their son until he had offered to let her see him in October 2020. She informed her grandmother and uncle that she wanted to go bring her son, but they were not supportive since she did not have a job at the time.

    Wairimu felt like they did not want her to bring her son at her place, forcing her to postpone their agreement on equal custody of their son. The ex was angered and contacted her through his lawyer.

    Efforts to reach him were futile and she decided to go visit him. There was a rather dramatic encounter between them and they resorted to seeking justice at the Nakuru Children’s court.

    File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.
    File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.

    “On December 1, I went to the children’s offices. I saw him talking with some guy from the offices, and I heard him ask if I had come. He asked why we broke up, and when I told him, he said he saw no the reason for the breakup and went to call a mediator,” Wairimu recounted.

    She revealed that Kimemia was not interested in reconciling and when asked why he broke up with her, he gave reasons she felt were petty.

    “He said I had mood swings, that sometimes I was so silent, and I saw the mediator noting everything down. He said that he dedicated his life to me, he used to take me out, and the mediator asked if I drink. And I saw him writing it down,” Wairimu recounted.

    “She asked me how I was raised, I told her and she was writing it down. Then they asked me to go out before they went on to have a meeting for about 35 minutes before they called me,” she added.

    Wairimu revealed that despite raising her concerns, including the fact that Kimemia at one point was physically abusive, a chain smoker, she did not see the mediator write anything down.

    She narrated that the officer told them that the formal procedure was to take their son to a children’s home, but she intervened to object since she was brought up in one. She got emotional and asked to be excused.

    ‘When I came back from the washroom, I had not even sat down, I was told that we were not the only clients and that Joel will continue to be with our son because I am unfit and mentally ill,” Wairimu narrated.

    “When I asked how they came to that conclusion, nobody told me anything. I got emotional, and I passed out.

    “When I woke up, I saw them talking and I asked if I could see my son, and they told me I could. However, when I tried calling him the following day, I had been blocked,” she added.

    She revealed that she had been asked by the officer to support the child while he stayed with the father since he was unemployed. Wairimu stated that the officer ruled in favour of the child’s father, since she had stated she was now employed and would take their son to a daycare while she was at work.

    Kimemia had countered, arguing that he would not allow his son in a daycare in the course of the covid-19 pandemic. She has since then been denied access to her son.

    Since sharing her story on social media, Wairimu was contacted by a lawyer willing to help her cause and will file a case in court on December 30.

    File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.
    File photo of Lucy Wangui Wairimu.

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