St Mary’s Hospitals will continue to be managed by the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi after the Court of Appeal rejected an application by an American priest who sought to regain control.
The court has ruled that an application by Dr William Fryda, of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society, to be reinstated as a director and stop the nuns from taking over the hospitals did not have merit.
The priest, through senior counsel Paul Muite, sought to stop execution of a Lands court judgement that declared the Assumption Sisters as the rightful owners of the health facilities.
The lawyer said the priest had filed an appeal against the judgment and thus he should be allowed to continue managing the hospitals pending hearing and determination of the appeal.
However, Judges Fatuma Sichale, Sankale ole Kantai and Daniel Musinga while sitting in Nyeri dismissed the application with costs saying Dr Fryda failed to give adequate reasons that the pending appeal will be rendered unimportant.
The court found that before the takeover of the hospitals, the sisters had tried to reach out to Dr Fryda for a smooth exercise but it was unsuccessful.
The priest argued that the pending appeal may be rendered nugatory if the court does not issue new orders restraining Assumption Sisters from taking control of St Marys, hospital in Langata and Nakuru.
Mr Muite told the court that Dr Fryda had a triable case against the judgement that was issued by the Land and Environment Court in Nakuru on September 29, 2017.
The lawyer claimed that the legal and appropriate owner of the hospitals having established them through funds he sourced from donors.
He added that the land where the Elementaita hospital is situated was donated to Dr Fryda by one Joseph Ngera who was supporting the initiative.
The hospitals later happened to be joint projects between Dr Fryda and the sisters and none can claim ownership over the other, he said.
Mr Muite urged the court to overturn the judgement of the Lands court and allow Dr Fryda to continue managing the hospitals, adding that there are fears that the health facilities will run down.
He faulted the nuns for the forceful takeover that happened in live media coverage, saying the handover should be in a peaceful manner without involving police and auctioneers because of the patients.
However, in response the sisters through lawyer Alice Wambugu said Dr Fryda has refused to hand over the hospitals as ordered by Justice Sila Munyao of the Lands Court.
“The applicant has unclean hands and wants to sanitise blatant disobedience of court orders,” said Ms Wambugu.
After dismissal of the application, Ms Wambugu welcomed the ruling saying ‘there was nothing to stay.
The Appellate court said the appeal will be heard on priority basis.