Shocking testimony that nailed quack doctor Mugo wa Wairimu
A confrontation with a terrified patient seeking abortion and openly taking drugs before her were the rogue actions that helped send bogus doctor Mugo wa Wairimu to prison.
The married woman had visited Mugo at his ‘clinic’ in Kayole after his initial prescription to terminate the pregnancy failed, but she fled following a horrifying encounter in 2018.
She had been married to a Ghanaian, but by the time she realised she was pregnant, she had separated from the man, who was working with a United Nations agency in Asia.
At the time, she worked with a local NGO and was doing business in South Sudan. She was also studying for a diploma in Community Development.
She chose not to keep the pregnancy and went online, searching for a hospital that could help her.
That is how she happened on Millan International Health Ltd.
She sent a text message and the hospital called her. The caller introduced himself as Dr James and said he was an agent of Marie Stopes Hospital, known for offering contraception and safe abortions around the world. He interviewed her and a few days later, sent her the abortion pills as a parcel, for which she paid Sh6,000.
She was instructed not to take any food before taking the pills. She had been assured that the abortion would be successful within 24 hours. But it wasn’t.
On November 19, 2018, she called Mugo, who told her to visit him at the clinic in Nyama Villa area in Kayole.
The woman receptionist ushered her in to the doctor’s office.
“The room was disorganised. There was a bed by the side, shelves where I saw cotton wool and medicine packed. A small fridge and a machine about three feet high,” said the woman.
Mugo told her that since the pills had not worked, he recommended another method that involved injecting her.
As they were chatting, a man came in and injected Mugo with an unknown drug on the forehead – near the hairline.
“I was shocked and asked why he was doing that. He also inserted a drip (line) into the needle. I walked out towards the main gate. It was locked and the reception lady said she could not open without instructions from the doctor,” said the witness.
Mugo shouted through the window and told the receptionist ‘fungulia hiyo kisirani iende’ (open and let that troublemaker go).
She was among five of 11 prosecution witnesses who had testified in the case by the time the fake doctor pleaded guilty.
Another witness, Ann Wanjiru, had gone to the clinic for treatment following an injury on the lower leg.
However, the medical procedure was interrupted because the authorities raided the clinic when ‘Dr Kamunya’ was set to begin the medical procedure.
Mugo’s landlady, Wanja Kagwi, testifying for the prosecution, said when he approached her in September 2018, Mugo said he wanted to use the house as a pharmacy. He paid Sh5,000 deposit and a further Sh5,000 as rent for that month.
He also paid rent in October, but in November, he did not pay and instead started playing a ‘cat and mouse game’ with the landlady, who is also a primary school teacher.
“I sent him an SMS requesting him to vacate the house because he had also not given me his details,” she said.
The self-proclaimed doctor-cum-political blogger was so bold that he ran a health clinic although he had no medical training.
He not only attended to unsuspecting patients with regular treatments and drug prescriptions, but he also offered laboratory and gynaecological services.
When police and officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists (KMPD) Board raided his clinic, Millan Health International Ltd in Kayole, Nairobi, it was established that he had neither professional certificates nor registration papers for the clinic.
However, the 45-year-old man also known as Dr James Mugo Ndichu alias Dr Jimmy, was known as a doctor in the densely populated neighbourhood. Other services he offered was termination of pregnancies.
At the time of his arrest on November 3, 2018, following a raid by KMPD and police, he had operated the hospital for three months having moved from Kasarani – another densely populated residential area.
The raid of the clinic, which was situated in a four-roomed house, came after an investigative feature by NTV.
Mugo had hired two employees, whom he had given firm instructions to keep the door always locked.
The other was Risper Auma, the receptionist. Ms Auma was a first-year student at Kiriri Women’s University, studying Procurement, Management and Supplies.
However, Ms Auma told police that her sister Ann was the employee of Millan, not her. She said during the police raid, she had visited her sister, the receptionist.
As Mugo serves his 11-year prison term passed by a court recently, Mr Kamunya and Ms Auma are battling criminal charges of operating a medical clinic without a licence.
Mr Mugo was convicted on his plea of guilty, leaving his co-accused fighting the case.
At his sentencing, he did not have much to say, only asking the court to be lenient because he had been in custody for the past two years. The prosecutor, James Machira, urged the court to hand him a harsh penalty because he endangered the lives of Kenyans.
The presiding magistrate, Martha Nanzushi, described Mugo’s business as risky, given that he lacked medical training and that the clinic posed a great danger to unsuspecting Kenyans who sought health services from him.
The prosecution case against Mr Mugo was tightened by letters written to detectives by three agencies of the Ministry of Health: the Radiation Protection Board, the Nursing Council of Kenya and the Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB).
In letters dated November 28, 2018, they confirmed that Mugo was not a registered medical practitioner and his clinic was neither registered nor authorised to offer health services.
“The council confirms that Mr Mugo is not a nurse or midwife. He has never been indexed, registered or licensed by the council,” said Nursing Council CEO Edna Tallam-Kimaiyo.
KMLLTB, for its part, said it had issued Mugo’s clinic with a closure notice on August 6, 2018 after finding it illegally offering medical laboratory services.
“Neither the facility nor the employees purporting to offer medical laboratory services were registered and licensed by the board,” said KMLLTB registrar Abdulatif Ali.
Records of the Radiation Board indicated that Mugo was not among people authorised to work with radiation machines, and his clinic was not licensed to possess an irradiating device, according to Mr Opar John.