Stop State impunity in Nakuru hospital case

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024 12:10 | By
Court orders Kihika administration to keep off Nakuru hospital property. PHOTO/Print
Court orders Kihika administration to keep off Nakuru hospital property. PHOTO/Print

The conduct of senior police officers in the court matter on the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital is a disturbing display of impunity.

Nakuru police commander Samuel Ndanyi has been defying court orders as his seniors sit on their arms. It is concerning that an officer who took oath to enforce the law has been an impediment to the administration of justice.

For three months, Kenyans have been treated to a circus where a record six orders issued by the High Court have been defied by the police led by Ndanyi. The officer also seems to have the luxury to determine when to honour court summons.

High Court judges Anthony Ombwayo and Milicent Odeny recused themselves from handling the matter after their orders were ignored. It is apparent the commander could be taking instructions from a higher office with ulterior motive.

The case was first transferred for hearing in Nairobi before being shifted to Nyahururu.

Chief Justice Martha Koome last Friday took issue with the Nakuru County Government and the police for failing to obey and implement court orders that would see operations at the hospital resume.

At the centre of the standoff is a 25-acre piece of land hosting the hospital in Nakuru. The dispute pits the county government and a private firm.

On October 27, 2023, the Nakuru County Government forcibly took over the management of the hospital claiming that the ownership documents were forged to acquire a 99-year lease title. Justice Odeny issued orders restraining the county from dealing in any manner whatsoever, investigating, cancelling or revoking the lease of the said parcel of land.

After issuing four orders that were all ignored, Justice Odeny pulled out of the matter, before handing it over to Justice Ombwayo who also recused himself citing frustrations.

The hospital continues to be occupied by goons.

Coming at a time President William Ruto himself has declared that he will ignore court orders, the Nakuru dispute sends ominous signals on the commitment of State officials to the rule of law.

The silence by the President, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki, Attorney General Justin Muturi, Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika and Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome over this open disobedience of court orders raises questions. This hospital circus must stop, pronto.

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