Cancer patient beaten to death inside KNH ward

By: ANGIRA ZADOCK

A cancer patient was killed inside a ward where he was recovering at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

Mr Cosmas Kenyatta Mutunga, 42, had been admitted at the hospital’s Ward 8C but was found dead at about 5am on Sunday.

He had stab wounds and one of his eyes had been gouged out.

Blood was splattered on the walls and the floor of the ward he was sharing with a patient who has both hearing and speech impairment.

Kilimani OCPD Peter Kattam on Sunday said that detectives were interrogating hospital staff over the incident.

“The greatest challenge we have now is that the patient on the next bed is deaf and dumb yet he is the main witness here,” Mr Kattam said.

He said police are looking for an interpreter to aid in communication but investigators and the patient.

POTENTIAL WITNESS

He, however, said that police are weighing the option of interviewing him when he gets better.

Given his condition, Mr Kattam said it was possible that the patient did not hear the commotion when Mutunga was attacked after the doctor on duty visited him at 4am.

Police will be banking on the hope that the man saw what happened and that they can find an interpreter to help them get the information.

Mutunga’s face had several injuries, which police said could have been caused by a blunt object.

His right leg was also broken between the knee and the ankle.

Police recovered a metal rod at the scene that is believed to have been used by the attacker.

“We are also analysing CCTV footage to see if someone might have walked into the ward disguised as the deceased’s visitor but with the aim of murdering him,” Mr Kattam said.

THE FATEFUL PHONECALL

On Sunday, Mutunga’s elder brother, Mr Peter Muthengi, told Nation that the man was admitted at KNH on November 2 and taken to Ward 8D.

After examination, he was found to be anaemic and was transferred to Ward 8C.

“Fifteen family members donated blood for him and his condition improved. We were later told that he had cancer, which had even affected his right eye,” Mr Muthengi said.

Relatives used to visit him daily until Saturday night.

“I left the hospital on Saturday at around 7pm and he was fine and was talking,” he said.

The doctor saw him on Sunday at around 4am and gave him some drugs. A nurse who has recorded a statement with the police said that he went to the ward later and found Mutunga’s body lying in a pool of blood.

The other patient was found sleeping on his bed, which was next to Mutunga’s. It was not clear whether he witnessed the attack.

Mr Muthengi said that at around 8am, Mutunga’s wife received a call from KNH informing her that her husband had been attacked inside the ward.

“She requested me to rush to Kenyatta,” Mr Muthengi said.

INVESTIGATION UNDER WAY

He arrived at the hospital at around 11am but was not allowed in.

He and other relatives were later taken to a doctor’s office where police and KNH administrators explained to them what had happened.

Mr Kattam said that detectives were working closely with the hospital’s administration to establish what actually happened.

The father of four who hailed from Mwingi, was a store man at Mada Holdings Ltd in South C. His body was taken to KNH mortuary awaiting a postmortem.

KNH management had not commented on the issue by the time of going to press last evening