War Memorial Hospital shuts down after Nakuru County takes over management

Nakuru county secretary Samuel Mwaura (centre) addressing the press at PGH Annex after the county took over the management of War Memorial Hospital.[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The County Secretary said the takeover was smooth and no one resisted. He even said some of the staff especially at War Memorial Morgue had agreed to continue working

"Four of the patients were paying cash while the rest were under insurance. We will now engage the previous management to see how they will live the entire building," he said.

He added that two families were allowed to take the body of their relatives from the morgue.

The hospital was previously privately owned since 1922.

However, Mwaura said the county government will also take over as the custodian of the 25 acre land where the hospital stands.

Mwaura retorted that the land has been reverted back to the government, following the de-gazettement of the Lease title given in the name of Nakuru War Memorial Hospital Limited.

"On the said land stands the War Memorial, Rift Valley Provision General Hospital- Annex and Helipad for State House," said Mwaura.

The building housing war memorial hospital and PGH Annex hospital in Milimani Nakuru county.[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Mwaura noted that the Lease Title for the land was issued to War Memorial in 2010, effective May 1, 1992, for a period of 99 years. The same was supposed to lapse on April 30, 2021.

"Attempts by War Memorial to extend the lease in 2019 were turned down by Nakuru County," he said.

However, the county accuses the hospital of using forged payment certificates to acquire an extension for a further 50 years, effective April 2021.

Mwaura insisted the action was fraudulent acquiring of land, an issue under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

He said the county government successfully petitioned the Registrar of land to cancel the lease. The same was cancelled on May 19, 2023.

"We have written to the National Lands Commission to be issued with a certificate of land reservation," said Mwaura.

The county issued a warning to individuals, groups or companies illegally occupying public land to vacate or be evicted.

The takeover comes days after the management of War Memorial claimed it owned the entire 25 acres of land and both hospitals.

The management through Dr Simon Mwangi insisted that they have never been taken to court for the ownership.

"The former President declared the private land public in 1970. However, no legal process was followed to acquire the land. Since we have the lease title we own the land," said Dr Mwangi.