A man charged with attempting to defraud Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) over Sh56, 000 in medical bills has been freed
Boniface Murage tried to smuggle his one-month baby out of the hospital after he was unable to clear the bill.
Murage who appeared before Milimani Law Courts magistrate Muthoni Nzibi yesterday pleaded guilty to the charge after which he was handed a three-month non-custodial sentence.
His lawyer Charles Madowo told court the bill has since been cleared and that Murage is remorseful.
“Your honour, my client’s mistake is that he is poor,” said Madowo,
He told court Murage is the sole breadwinner and that incarcerating him will hurt the family.
The lawyer noted Murage’s intention was not to commit a crime, but to take his daughter home.
The magistrate noted the matter has generated a lot of public interest and sympathy before setting his free.
Murage promised to adhere to all conditions set by the court. This kind of sentence requires one not to get involved in crime during the probation period.
Murage was spotted by the hospital’s security officials walking out of the compound with a big bag.
The officials got suspicious and demanded that he allows them to inspect the bag.
Murage attempted to resist but the officials had their way. They discovered Murage had hidden the baby in the bag so he could sneak out of the hospital with her unnoticed.
The baby was admitted on January 26 and discharged on February 11 after incurring a bill of Sh56,937.
Murage was taken to Kenyatta police post and the baby returned to her ward.
Meanwhile, a police officer has donated Sh56,000 to Murage to help his family.
Inspector Emmanuel Tammoh, who heads a police camp in Kangemi, Nairobi, went to the hospital to clear Murage’s bill after learning of his predicament but it had already been taken care of by the time he got there.
“I left Kenyatta Hospital for the court where I met Murage and donated the money to him,” said Tammoh.
The officer also warned Murage against engaging in crime.
“I am not supporting what he did. However, he may have done it because of poverty,” said Tammoh.
This came as Nairobi governor Mike Sonko offered Murage a job.
“This is to notify you (Boniface Murage) that you have been offered a job at Nairobi’s Environment Department,” said a letter from Sonko is in the United States where he is attending a United Nations conference in New York.
Sonko has directed Murage to report to his office immediately.
Meanwhile, Sonko has also instructed his team to pay legendary footballer Joe Kadenge a visit in hospital.
He told them to offer Kadenge any assistance needed and ensure he gets quality care.