Governor Susan Kihika vows to reclaim disputed War Memorial Hospital from private firm

Nakuru governor Susan Kihika. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Governor Susan Kihika has vowed to fight for the disputed Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.

Kihika said the county government would not back down to a private company that moved to court to lay claim to the facility established by the colonial government in 1921.

Speaking during a tree planting exercise in Bahati, Kihika reiterated the county’s position that a lease extension held by the company was a forgery.

"That hospital had been leased out over 100 years ago to treat world war veterans. When the lease expired, they went ahead to forge documents and continued to run the hospital,” she said.

The county government took over the facility on the night of October 28, but the company moved to court and was given back control of the facility on November 7.

At the heart of the legal battle is ownership of the 11.5 hectares of prime land valued at Sh1 billion, which the hospital board says has a valid legal lease of 50 years.

Kihika said they are determined to recover the facility from the company legally. "They went back to court, and we have no problem. The court allowed them back to the hospital, but we have not given up. We shall fight for that facility to the end."

She said the process to reclaim the facility was initiated by the previous leadership, which saw the need to have it revert to the public.

Kihika said her administration would do everything possible to protect public utilities across the county.

“We are doing this for the public interest. With this trend, I will work with the ward representatives even if it will cost us to make additional budget allocations to our legal department to fight these battles in court," she said.

Litigious persons

The governor claimed that some county projects were being interfered with by "litigious persons disrupting service delivery to residents".

"We had some people go to court over two boreholes in Kabatini. The boreholes are on public land. We shall not stop providing water to a majority just because of a few individuals with selfish interests," said Kihika.

Her sentiments were echoed by Bahati MP Irene Njoki, who said that public interest must be safeguarded at all costs.

"We have five people who have been going to court to oppose every development in this area, punishing the rest. We are the majority, and we shall not allow them to frustrate us," said Ms Njoki.