End shameful fights over War Memorial Hospital

Nakuru county askaris preventing some youth from forceful entering  War Memorial Hospital w on February 1,2024. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The County Government of Nakuru is embroiled in a tussle with the management of the War Memorial Hospital over the hospital’s land. County askaris raided the hospital on October 28, 2023, on claims the hospital management had secured a 50-year lease extension illegally. Available records indicate that the hospitals’ original 95-year lease expired in 2021.

The raid caused panic and paralysed operations at the hospital after county askaris locked up the facility, putting lives at risk in the process. In self-defence, the management of War Memorial Hospital took the matter to court where orders were issued to the county government to hand the hospital back to the owners until the case is heard and determined. However, in a show of executive impunity and disdain for our courts, the county government disobeyed the orders until February 2 when it obeyed them. 

Hours later, goons invaded the War Memorial hospital and caused staff members to scamper for safety. The invasion of the hospital has divided the Nakuru county leadership, with Senator Tabitha Karanja blaming the governor and alleging a plot to grab the hospital's 25-acre land. She has called on President William Ruto to intervene and stop the push and pull. 

Clearly, the youths who invaded the hospital have nothing to do with the wrangles. They were most likely paid to cause chaos and ensure that services at the hospital do not resume. Medical services in Nakuru County have taken a beating as a result. That must be brought to an end.

It is important that the goons who raided the hospital and those who hired them be arrested immediately. Such impunity must not be allowed to continue since it sets a dangerous precedent for lawlessness. Court orders are not negotiable, they must be obeyed in the pursuit of justice and fairness.  There is no room for guerilla tactics in a country like ours that is governed by the rule of law. 

The court decision on the hospital must be respected and goons and other parties fighting to control the institution restrained.