Strangers pull down fence, dig trench around War Memorial Hospital

Nakuru War Memorial Hospital's Main gate locked with a chain and a padlock. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

The Nakuru War Memorial Hospital controversy has taken a new twist after unknown people started digging trenches along the fence in an apparent attempt to fence off the land.

The hospital Chief Executive Officer Patricia Musale said the strangers pulled down the fence from the signage to Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital Annex, which is adjacent to the facility.

Musale noted that the trenches had been dug on the upper side of the hospital near the servant quarters and along the main entrance.

"The place now looks like a field and strangers have been digging the trenches since last week," she said.

She claimed that a resident had been chased from the house which being used to store metal rods and provide electricity for welding.

Musale said the activities continued despite existing court orders that were extended by Nyandarua Environment and Land Court Judge Yuvinalis Angima on February 20.

Angima extended orders that directed Nakuru County Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi to help the hospital's private management regain possession of the hospital.

This was after it was taken over by the county government on January 23 and by goons on February 1, who chased away staff.

"We have not regained access back to the hospital to date but we are hopeful. Even though strangers are digging trenches, the activities are slow and we hope they will allow us access back to the hospital," said Musale.

This comes about two weeks after strangers broke into the hospital's mortuary on February 20 and stole a body.

The CEO said the body had been held at the mortuary since September last year, over an outstanding bill of Sh921,000.

The hospital's management also claims that they have received death threats from unknown people.

Nakuru West Sub County Police Commander Francis Wahome said Musale reported threats to her life on January 24, 2024.

“We have received a death threat report. The matter will be investigated,” said Wahome.

So far no arrests have been made.

The 25-acre land in Milimani estate is at the centre of the dispute between the management and the county government.

The private management has a lease for 50 years, renewed in 2021, which the county government contends was forged.

Before the land case is heard, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika and Ndanyi will be tried for contempt.

The Nyandarua court gave priority to the contempt case against the two, for disobeying orders that barred them from interfering with the hospital operations.

Angima gave the hospital management, the county government, and the police until April 17 to submit the contempt case.

The Judge took over the case following recusal by Justices Millicent Odeny and Anthony Ombwayo on January 30 and February 8, respectively.

The case will be mentioned on April 17.