The family of a matatu driver shot by an Embu deputy OCS stormed the hospital on Tuesday night, claiming it had neglected him by not removing the bullets and allowing him to suffer.

He was admitted on Monday and surgery was scheduled for Thursday, when the operating theatre is used

Relatives and workmates demanded Martin Mbundi’s transfer to a hospital that would quickly perform surgery and ease his suffering. He was transferred on Wednesday afternoon to PCEA Chogoria Hospital in Meru county.

The family of 38-year-old Mbundi claimed Embu Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital was taking too long to remove two bullets lodged in his left thigh. Thigh wounds near the major femoral artery are dangerous.

Surgeons need to remove two bullets from his flesh and some bone.

Hospital CEO Dr Danel Mugendi on Wednesday evening denied neglect, said the patient was treated properly and he he could not be detained against his will. 

“I can’t bear the hunger again. I would be very relieved if am operated on as the pain is too much and the leg is getting more swollen. I am only on painkillers that sometimes don’t relieve the pain, Mbundi told reporters from his hospital bed.

Patients awaiting surgery are not supposed to eat or drink anything for at least 12 hours before.

He was seriously wounded by the Embu Police Station Deputy OCS Abraham Cheresoion Monday. Police said they heard the driver and conductor of the 14-seater matatu were armed.

Investigations are underway and the deputy OCS is still on the job.

Meru Nissan Sacco Manager Leonard Muthomi and the family, including his wife Everlyn Kamba, said his condition was deteriorating as the leg was continuing to swell and getting more painful.

Initially, medics refused to transfer him until the doctor who admitted him assessed whether he was fit for transfer. They agreed to a transfer on Wednesday afternoon.

Mbundi was wounded after the OCS he reportedly waylaid him along Meru Chuka Embu highway at Kangaru Primary School at around 4.30pm on Monday.

He told the Star that he stopped to pick passengers wanting to be taken to Blue post in Thika. Then plainclothes Tharaka Nithi enforcement officers arrested the conductor but he resisted because he did not know who they were.

Mbundi said on arrival at Kangaru Primary school along Meru Chuka Embu highway he found police officers who blocked his vehicle with theirs. |Then the OCS came out and demanded he alight.

He said he hesitated a bit, asking why he was being arrested and before he could talk with him, he heard a gunshot. His leg was paralysed and he slumped on the passenger on his left, he said. 

Embu county Police Commander Daniel Rukunga had earlier told the Star on the phone that enforcement officers reported that the driver had stopped to pick passengers in the wrong spot. They tried to arrest him but were unable to do so and arrested the conductor instead.

Rukunga said a woman enforcement officer named Faith Kirunda called the Embu police station saying the driver and the conductor had a gun which they had used to threaten them.