George Mugambi a police constable at the Central Police Station- Mombasa is known to many road users as a man of few words while on duty and controlling traffic along the Central Business area in Mombasa.
However, to Katana Juma, a Tuk-tuk driver, Mugambi is an angel sent by God.
Katana had been diagnosed with a rare tumor that causes abnormal growth in the structures that surround the eye.
Being his family’s breadwinner, the 28-year-old man and a father of two from Kwale County had been employed as a tuk-tuk driver.
"I had no other option since l had to take care of my family. l endured the pain and continued working as a Tuk-Tuk driver while using strong painkillers,” he said.
His life changed in December last year when Mugambi flagged him down over a traffic offence. On Saturday, December 3, 2022, he had a broken windscreen and was forced to be on the road to fend for his family.
He says he had almost given up on life and was living his last days before he met the officer.
"I had lost hope in life. l was living my last days. As a man, l had to live them by enduring the pain to provide for my family," he said.
"On December 3 last year, l was at work as a Tuk Tuk driver and l had been stopped over a traffic offence by the officer (Mugambi). However, when he saw my swollen eye, he forgot that l had a broken windscreen and began enquiring about what had happened to my eye. l told him that l had been diagnosed with a tumor at Msabweni Hospital. The tumor kept on growing and pushed my eye out of its socket but l had to endure the pain as l fend for my family since l had no money to undergo operation," he said.
He narrated that the passionate soft-spoken officer advised him to wait for him at the Central police station as he finished his shift.
"At first, l was afraid when he told me to accompany him to the central police station. l thought he would book me for the traffic offense, but upon arrival at the station, he sat inside the Tuk-tuk as we had a lengthy conversation on how he would help me,” Katana added.
“Having gained some trust in Mugambi, l opened up to him and informed him that although l had been diagnosed with a tumor that required an urgent operation to save my life l had no money to pay for it.
"He gave me some money to buy food for my family and took my details and the following day, he instructed me to walk to the NHIF offices and register for NHIF card. It took three months as l waited for it to mature," he narrated as he broke down.
In April this year, Katana was booked for the operation at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.
He stated that the operation was successful and Mugambi kept in touch until he was discharged from the hospital.
"Following my discharge l went to live with my brother in Likoni. My wife had left me and resettled in Samburu but Mugambi would ensure that l had eaten and bought medicine," he said.
"I owe him my life. I don’t know how to thank him. He’s an angel," Katana said.
The officer was however unable to tell us anything due to police protocols.
"I’m sorry l cannot say more on the issue although his plight touched me and l paid for his NHIF card. You have to follow the required protocols in the National Police Service by seeking permission from my bosses to allow me to shed more light on the matter," Mugambi said.