When 19-year-old Sharon and Melon accidentally bumped into each other at a school event, their remarkable similarity prompted much speculation. Now, DNA testing has proved that the two African girls are identical twins that were swapped at birth. All eyes are on the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI), George Kinoti, to establish what exactly happened in a Kakamega hospital back in 1999. And whether those culpable will be punished.
What we know is that 19 years ago, two women gave birth to baby girls at Kakamega General Hospital; but somehow, they walked out of the hospital with girls they did not deliver. Rosemary Onyango had given birth to twin girls 2 days after Angeline Omina delivered her daughter named Sharon. The twin girls were placed in separate incubators and after 1 week, Rosemary took two babies home, not knowing that one girl had been switched with Angeline’s. Rosemary named her kids Melon and Melvis but always wondered why the girls did not resemble each other.
Melon and Sharon grew up in different counties but schooled within the same area. One day when Melon had attended an event at Shikoti Secondary School, students at the institution remarked on how she looked like one of their school mates.
“When I went to Shikoti, students saw me and started laughing. I was so afraid after they told me I had a sister at their school. I told them I had a sister at Kimosin Girls and not Shikoti”, Melon said.
Sharon and Melon then connected via Facebook and said it was like looking in a mirror. When they met for the first time they commented on the strong bond they immediately felt between themselves.
DNA twin testing
Lancet Kenya Laboratories Chief Executive Officer Dr Ahmed Kalebi confirmed that Sharon and Melon were twins following a 100% match when 23 alleles were tested.
Rosemary Onyango was also proved to be the biological mother of the twins.
“Rosemary Khaveleli Onyango could not be excluded as the biological mother of the twins who have a compatible obligatory maternal allelic profile with a 99.999% probability”, said Dr Kalebi.
The third girl, Melvis, who was raised by Rosemary is not her biological daughter. Her DNA samples matched with those of Angeline who had raised one of the twins.
According to Dr Kalebi, this is not an isolated case which he attributes to negligence.
Others are claiming that this was a case of baby switch. If it was intentional, who was involved? These are the questions that now need addressing.
“We believe the forensic investigation will establish if any criminal act was committed or any mitigating circumstances that may have led to the present status. We encourage and appeal to the families concerned to please report to DCI office in Kakamega to facilitate investigations”, the DCI said after the case went public.
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