Top cop playing hide and seek with court

Management and staff of the War Memorial Hospital failed to reclaim the facility from the Nakuru county government for a third time yesterday. 

This was after County Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi failed to enforce the third court order that directed him to ensure they access the facility. 

After the failed attempt yesterday, Environment and Lands Court Judge Millicent Odeny summoned the police boss to appear before Justice Anthony Onbwayo on February 1, failure to which a warrant of arrest will be issued against him. 

“The commander is ordered to appear in person, or else a warrant of arrest will be issued against him,” ruled the judge. 

Attempts by doctors, nurses and subordinate staff to access the facility were futile after Nakuru county enforcement officers manning the facility denied them access. 

Samuel Ndanyi has been missing in action, and efforts by the hospital management to reach him have failed to bear fruits. 

To the hospital management, the fate of the hospital and its staff lies in the hands of Ndanyi, who has been ordered to oversee the implementation of court orders to have the hospital management and staff take over the facility now in the hands of the County Government. 

Ndanyi’s office and the courts issuing the orders to be effected share a fence.

The distance from the County police commander’s office to the hospital is hardly three kilometres, and he has not attempted to visit the facility. 

The county took over the facility on January 23 and shut it down over allegations that the hospital board of directors fraudulently renewed the land lease for the 25-acre prime land. 

The county askaris told the staff that they were yet to receive orders from their superiors, the court or the police boss to allow anyone access to the facility. 

Earlier in the morning, Justice Odeny issued orders directing Ndanyi to escort them back to the hospital by 11 am and report back.  

This is after police commander, through state counsel Sonia Wanjeri, claimed that he had complied with the January 25, order and had escorted staff back to the hospital.

The hospital management, through lawyers Lawrence Karanja and Chomba Kamau, denied Wanjeri’s claims, saying no order had been complied with. 

In Ndanyi’s absence, the court directed that he escorts staff back to the hospital in the company of their lawyers and the Attorney General’s representative at 11 am. 

“The county police commander is further ordered to appear before this court at noon and confirm that he has implemented the orders,” ruled Odeny. 

At 11 am, the management and staff camped outside the hospital.  

Hospital lawyers and police officers joined them in a vehicle but without the county police boss. 

Instead of the police implementing the orders, they appeared to reinforce the county askaris, denying the hospital staff access. 

At 11.30 am, court process server Moses Mbuthia’s attempts to serve the orders upon the enforcement team failed after they refused and locked the gate with a padlock. 

“For the second time, the enforcement team has refused to be served with the orders. They are saying they have no instructions from above,” said Mbuthia. 

He confirmed that he had electronically served Ndanyi after attempts to personally serve him were futile.  

“Since Wednesday last week, I have visited the office of the commander, sometimes twice a day to look for him. He has not shown up. However, as per the law, I have served him with the orders through WhatsApp and other electronic means,” said Mbuthia. 

At 12.15 pm, Chomba reported to the court that Ndanyi failed to show up at the hospital as required. The police boss was also not present in court as earlier ordered. 

Kamau urged the court to order Ndanyi’a’s arrest because it was clear that he had no intention to obey the orders. 

“The orders clearly directed him to offer the staff security, but instead, he has resorted to offer security to the county enforcement team who are disobeying court orders,” he said.

Kamau accused Ndanyi of committing perjury by lying to the court that he had implemented its order, while the opposite was the case.  

Wanjeri defended the police boss saying that he was out of town and had taken his daughter to the hospital. She promised the court that Ndanyi would appear when ordered to. 

The saga continues as patients and staff expressed frustrations over the saga that began in October last year.

A patient who sought anonymity said he had been forced to seek healthcare in Nairobi because he was unsure of getting proper services in Nakuru. 

He said he was denied access to the hospital last week, “We hope this matter will be resolved soon for patients to access services.” 

A staff who sought anonymity said they have been camping on the Helipad land since last Tuesday, when they were evicted from the hospital, with the hope that they would be allowed back. 

She said they have not been paid. 

“We expect pay by the 26th of every month. We are yet to get anything, and we are frustrated.” 

The county government declined to comment on the saga, saying the matter was in court.