Police quells St Mary's Mission Hospital tension as new team takes over

By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Police on Friday intervened to quell the tension that had built up at the troubled St Mary's Mission Hospital in Elementaita, Nakuru after the staff paralysed services for fears of forceful eviction by the new management. Gilgil Sub-county security team which was led by Deputy County Commissioner Mithike Ndambuki held a two-hour meeting with the workers at the premises aimed at restoring normalcy at the hospital.

This was after they received information that some staff had decided to take away hospital property before the new management takes over.

Operations at the hospital were grounded for hours as relatives transferred their patients from the hospital following the tension.

Police officers who had taken over the facility had disallowed admission of new patients.

"We came to try and quell the tension among the hospital staff who had paralysed activities at the hospital for fear of their lives. We learnt that some of them had run away after they suspected that police would come to evict them at night," said Mr Ndambuki.

Addressing the Press after the meeting, Mr Ndambuki said the workers had run away with hospital equipment including, furniture, electronics, medicine and medical tools in the wake of Friday morning.

According to the administrator, the workers had reacted to information that the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi, a group of catholic nuns embroiled in a legal tussle with an American Missionary priest, Dr Bill Fryda over the ownership of the hospital, had planned to evict them on Friday morning.

Mr Ndambuki, however, said the planned eviction could not be executed after the staff obtained another court order restraining their eviction and dismissal from work.

From the meeting, it was resolved that the workers would go back to their respective departments and resume their duties as police provided security.

Gilgil Administration Police Commissioner Quantai Kabugo said he would deploy some police officers at the hospital to ensure the security of the staff is guaranteed.

TRANSITION

According to him, the police will ensure that any transition that will take place according to the court order is conducted in a peaceful and smooth manner so that nobody is hurt or evicted in the process.

"As a police service we will ensure that all court orders are effected in a humane manner for the good of the citizens.

We however call upon the staff who took hospital property to return it," said Mr Kabugo.

Mr Selesio Marangu, the Nursing in Charge at St Mary's hospital, confirmed their resolve to resume operations and urged those who had planned to take their patients to hold on as the hospital had resumed operations.

St Mary's hospital has been at the centre of a six-year management tussle between the New York-based missionary priest and the nuns.

It has recently hit the headlines following a violent take over of the hospital in Lang'ata, Nairobi, by the nuns who were declared the rightful owners of the property by the High Court in Nakuru where police officers stormed and evicted the staff.

Some of the students who were evicted from their hostels at the St Mary's Mission Hospital High School in Nairobi have sought refuge at the Elementaita hospital.

Other security personnel who were present include the Gilgil OCPD, Ms Serah Koke, and the sub-county Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer, Mr Joseph Owiti.

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References

  1. ^ More by this Author (www.nation.co.ke)

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