19 January 2018

Kenya: Nuns Allowed to Take Over Nakuru St Mary's Hospital

A fresh confrontation is looming at the troubled St Mary's Mission Hospital in Nakuru County, after a court endorsed forceful eviction of the management.

Justice Sila Munyao on Thursday affirmed orders issued on November 23 last year, granting the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi entry into the facility which is currently under the control of American missionary priest, Dr William Charles Fryda, who lays claim to the property.

The Catholic nuns have already taken over management of St Mary's Hospital in Nairobi.

Justice Munyao, however, cautioned that the forceful takeover would not involve evicting employees from the hospital as was the case with the Nairobi facility.

According to the judge, no eviction orders have been issued against the priest, which means the Sisters should concentrate only on the management.

"I make it clear that I have not issued any order of eviction against the employees. If the confusion is whether or not employees should be evicted, then I make it clear that there is no such order either by this court or any other," ruled Justice Munyao.

The court further ordered the Elementaita police boss to provide security to the nuns during the planned take-over.

The judge's orders followed a contempt-of-court application by the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi against the police for a botched eviction at the hospital.

The nuns sought to have the Inspector-General of Police and a number of local commanders committed to civil jail for disobeying court orders.

However, Mr Victor Ondieki, representing the Attorney-General, said the police had stopped the operation after the Employment Court issued an order, stating that employees should not be touched as happened with the Nairobi facility.

"With the confusion, the police decided to get back to the court for clarification on the two orders which seemed conflicting," Mr Ondieki said.


Earlier, staff at the hospital had moved to court and obtained orders restraining the new management from sacking them.

Dr Fryda's lawyer, Ms Esther Mwangi, defended the employees, saying the nuns had violently evicted everyone at the Nairobi hospital contrary to the court's directive that required only change of management.

"My client is worried because when the court issued orders in November, the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi did not gain entry alone but took 200 police officers and hired more than 400 goons and evicted everyone at the hospital," said Ms Mwangi.

The Assumption Sisters of Nairobi forcibly took over the management of St Mary's Mission Hospital in Lang'ata on December 28 after storming the facility and evicting everyone, including staff and patients, causing public uproar over the violent manner in which the take-over was carried out.


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