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LSK decries disobedience of court orders by Nakuru County

The Rift Valley Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Branch, has condemned the continued disobedience of Court Orders by the County Government of Nakuru, calling on the devolved unit, to adhere to court rulings.

Speaking after leading a demonstration at the Nakuru County Headquarters, LSK Rift Valley Branch Region Chairman, Mr. Aston Muchela Ong’enge, demanded that the County government give immediate restoration of Nakuru War Memorial Hospital management, in compliance with the Orders, until the Court orders otherwise.

“Governor, Susan Kihika, should unconditionally apologize to the families of victims and patients, who suffered in the hands of  the County askaris and give a public affirmation that she will always respect Court Orders,” stated Mr. Muchela.

The peaceful demonstrations by the lawyers around Nakuru City were, however, disrupted by goons who stoned the lawyers, demanding that they desist from interfering with the War Memorial, which was now ‘public property.’

The advocates regretted the disobedience of six Court Orders, demanding the restoration of normalcy at the War Memorial Hospital, which has since seen two Environment and Land Court (ELC) Judges, withdraw from the matter.

The Hospital had in January been taken over by the County government, as its directors faced charges of forgery of lease documents, before a Nakuru ELC.

“The Judiciary has been seen as the last bastion in the fight against disregard of the rule of law. We were confident that the Governor was to champion the rule of law once in office, but this is regrettable, we should be perturbed if this kind of impunity goes unchecked,” noted Muchela.

While chanting “ Heshimu Sheria, Heshimu Mahakama,’ the advocates also condemned the complacency of the Kenya Police Service, to also executing Orders by the Court and safeguarding the Hospital

“Patients were abandoned at the Intensive Care Units, children abandoned in incubators, mothers in maternity, with scores of lives lost and health compromised by the stalemate, that was caused by the take-over by the    County government of the facility,” they lamented.

Nakuru War Memorial Hospital has been entangled in a row with the County government that took over the facility, claiming the directors forged their lease documents for the 25-acre piece of land, on which the hospital sits.

Trouble started on October 28, last year, when the County government invaded the facility on claims that the management had illegally acquired a 50-year lease extension.

However, the County take-over of the Hospital, was upset two days later, when the Environment and Land Court, issued Orders, directing it to vacate the facility and stop meddling in its management.

The latest saga started on January 19, when five people, including two senior directors of the Hospital and Land officials, were arrested on claims of forging a lease document for the land.

The following day, the County government raided the Hospital, took over the management, and kicked-out hospital staff, demanding the transfer of patients.

Efforts by the Environment and Lands Court, to have the County vacate the Hospital were frustrated by Nakuru County Commander, Samuel Ndanyi, who disobeyed two Court Orders, to oversee the vacation of the premises by the County askaris.

This compelled Justice Millicent Odeny, to summon Ndanyi, who reluctantly obeyed the Court Order and oversaw the handover.

The joy was, however, short-lived as goons raided the facility and sent away all workers and vandalized the Hospital equipment.

Efforts to have the police restore order, were rendered futile, as they regretted their inability to interfere with the hospital operations.

LSK has further demanded that the Governor unconditionally, apologize to the families of victims and patients who suffered at the hands of County askaris.

By Anne Sabuni and Angela Musonye

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