The Sikh community in Nairobi is on the spot over protracted leadership wrangles that expose the community’s multi-million business empire including the Guru Nanak Hospital located in Pangani to possible collapse.
The East African Ramgarhia Board (EARB), which oversees the hospital, is embroiled in a leadership wrangle that has been escalated by claims of financial mismanagement and failure by the board to hold elections for its officials.
The EARB was originally formed and registered in Kenya to govern and administer the activities of the Sikh Community in the country.
It has since grown to a large society organisation with interests in religious, welfare and medical services and the body is head-quartered at the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple premises in Pangani, Nairobi.
The Attorney General’s office has since informed the board that the current executive committee members have been in office illegally since their term expired in June 2020.
According to insiders, the officials have expended questionable expenditures of close to over half a billion Kenya shillings.
The Attorney General through the Registrar of Societies has already written to the East African Ramgarhia Board indicating that the board’s leadership is in office illegally since their term expired on or about June 28, 2020.
Through a letter dated March 31, 2023, the Registrar of Societies stated that the board’s incumbent executive committee members Jaswinder Singh Virdi, Surinder Singh Sihra and Manminders S. Jandu who were elected into office on the June 28, 2018, are in office illegally since their two years’ term in office has already expired.
“Any registered society which contravenes the rules shall be guilty of an offence,” added the Registrar of Societies in a letter signed by Senior State Counsel D.M Njoroge.
The Registrar of Societies has therefore indicated that the EARB incumbent executive committee members have committed an offence for failing to hold statutory General Meeting pursuant to the provisions of Section 29 of the Societies Act which states that every registered society shall at least once in every year hold a general meeting.
The Registrar of Societies has previously attempted to mediate in the wrangles within the Sikh community, but one faction led by Manminder Singh Jandu, the General Secretary of the East African Ramgarhia Board moved to court to stop the planned AGM that was to take place on the 26th of March.
A section of the community members are accusing Jandu and the board’s trustee Manjeet Singh Sethi of arrogance leading to the internal wrangles.
Already, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) opened active investigations into the alleged multi-million fraud by the community’s executive committee members ranging from misuse of funds through questionable expenditures and embezzlement.
Members of the community filed a formal complaint to the DCI over alleged massive looting of the community’s funds.
The alleged financial fraud by the board members involve both Guru Nanak Hospital and Sikh Temple by some board members.
Court papers reveal that Guru Nanak Hospital has made losses of at least Sh300million in the last four years and it’s unable to comfortably pay salaries of key staff, some of whom have opted to sue.
Meanwhile the embattled Sikh community board members are also in court in attempts to save the Guru Nanak Hospital from auctioneers who are in court to auction the hospital at a cost of Sh19,430,380 million to recover the hospital’s debts.
The EARB was originally formed to govern and administer the activities of the Sikh Community in Kenya. It has since grown to a large society organization with interests in religious, welfare and medical services.
The body is head-quartered at the Ramgarhia Sikh Temple premises in Pangani, Nairobi.