Four years of pain for Ken Spooner

Ken Spooner
Ken Spooner

FOUR years, 1,461 days, 35,064 hours, two million 103,840 seconds. And counting.

That’s how long Milton Keynes dad Ken Spooner has been battling for the return of his two children after they were abducted by their mother and taken to Zambia.

Mr Spooner marked the four-year anniversary of the boys being taken to the African country yesterday (Tuesday, October 16).

They still remain with their mother, Zanetta Nyendwa, despite a Zambian court awarding him custody of Devlan and Caelan in September last year.

Miss Nyendwa lodged an appeal against that decision seven months ago, but the court has still not returned a verdict. It was expected the decision would take about three months.

Writing on the Milton Keynes Citizen’s Justice for Ken Facebook page yesterday, Mr Spooner said: “Today marks four years since my children were ‘parentally abducted’ on the pretence and betrayal of a two-week holiday by their mother Zanetta Nyendwa.

“That’s 1,461 days my children have been deprived of a relationship with their daddy. The appeal against my Zambian judgement was heard seven months ago, and was expected to be ruled upon within three months... and I am still waiting.

“And my children are still being deprived of their rights as a result of delays in the ruling coming out. I hope and pray that this will come soon, I cannot face the prospect of a fifth Christmas without my little boys.”

In October 2008, Miss Nyendwa took the boys, who were aged just four and two at the time, on a family holiday to Zambia. She has never returned.

Zambian authorities rejected the validity of an English High Court Order demanding the children be returned home, but after a protracted legal battle awarded Mr Spooner custody of the children pending an appeal.

During that time Mr Spooner was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony amid allegations he conspired with a maid, Febby Siamasamu, to steal the passports of the boys from their mother.

He was later acquitted with Judge Fides Hamaundu ruling that Miss Siamasamu ‘was brought into the picture so as to frame up a charge to implicate Spooner’.

He is currently suing his former partner for $100,000 to cover legal fees, loss of earnings and other costs incurred during that trial.

Mr Spooner, who has spent more than £200,000 and been forced to move all his possessions into storage, is the subject of this newspaper’s Justice for Ken campaign urging the British government to intervene in the case.

So far it has refused to do so although proposals for a new law which would make it illegal for a parent to wrongfully retain a child in another country are being looked into.

A similar law was introduced in Australia earlier this year.