The four-month old son of Warrap State Governor Madam Nyandeng Malek is set to be awarded honorary citizenship of Kenya by the Municipality of Nairobi for being the 100th child of a South Sudanese senior government official born in one of the private hospitals Nairobi in this year.
As the only serving female governor in South Sudan, Madam Nyandeng Malek recently gave birth to the honourable baby boy, her blessed fifth child, in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi some 1400 km away from her workplace (an exercise regularly carried out by other Warrap residents at their own home, clinics or even out in the field whilst harvesting at this time of year).
The cost of one birth in Kenya at a private clinic such as this would have funded (according to studies) the development of maternity facilities for all women in Kuajok, the capital of her state, including the training of midwives for one whole year.
This announcement of the honorary citizenship award comes just days after Child-Rights activists in South Sudan called for her immediate resignation from office for, among other things, being an unpatriotic leader for choosing to labour in a foreign country; abandoning a new-born baby in Nairobi; and failing to provide the very basic of health care facilities for the poor mothers and children in her very own state who are not as privileged as her child and ‘other people like her’.
According to an official with the award, the Municipality of Nairobi also wants to appreciate and encourage the steady and increasing stream of revenue brought in by South Sudanese officials (and businessmen & pregnant women) who frequent expensive private hospitals, schools, housing and leisure facilities in Nairobi – which must be pointed out that officials have failed to set up remotely similar facilities or services in their own communities in South Sudan.
As an elected leader of the community, others argued, giving birth in the South Sudan or, even better, her own state would have instilled some confidence in the national health service and encouraged others to make use (and thus improve) the facilities at home.
Others, however, think the governor has the right to keep her new-born baby wherever she pleases as patriotism has nothing to do where a child is conceived, born or bred.
“If African presidents go and die in Europe, why can’t a governor go to a neighbouring country to give birth or even conceive for that matter?”