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Catholic priest sues Cardinal Over Hospitals claim

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A Catholic Priest has sued John
Cardinal Njue and Marie Therese Gacambi of the Assumption Sisters for
interfering with the running of St Mary’s Mission hospital and high
school in Nairobi, and a similar hospital in Nakuru, Kenya.
In the civil case filed, Father William Charles Fryda of
the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society in the United States who is
the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the institutions has accused
the two of trying to kick him out with an aim of taking over the
property.

According to the priest and documents lodged in court, he single
handedly sourced for funds to buy the parcels of land and construct the
institutions after getting a go-ahead from his Catholic order, the
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society.
The Chairman of the Board of St Mary’s Mission high school Frank
Enderi said on Friday that they were now seeking a permanent injunction
restraining the two defendants from interfering with the running of the
institutions.
“This is a non-profit making institution; we all look at it as our individual property,” he told Capital FM News.
“Allow the hospitals to work without interference; allow the students
who have no hope elsewhere to be given time to read well and become
positive members of the world and Kenya as they look forward,” he
pleaded.
He explained that Father Fryda, being a foreigner had an arrangement
with the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi to have the parcels of land
registered under its trustees and they were now using this to claim
ownership of the property.
“Because of the harassment that has been taking place on the hospital
and on the person of Father Fryda in terms of running his institutions
correctly as an individual and according to our mission which is to take
care of the poor at affordable prices and having the best quality that
one can afford, he has filed a court case to allow the matter to be
solved amicably in court,” Enderi said.
Father Fryda who is a medical doctor came to Africa in 1980 as a
missionary doctor and first worked in Tanzania before coming to Kenya in
1991 where he worked at the Nazareth hospital in Kiambu.
“While working at the said hospital, the plaintiff (Fr Fryda)
witnessed the acute plight of the poor section of Kenyan society who
needed efficient, dedicated and affordable medical treatment but was
unable to access the same due to both financial and personnel
constraints and the plaintiff thereupon decided to look for means of
redressing the situation,” reads a court statement by the father.
He further states that he managed to buy the first pieces of land
L.R. No. 27228 (originally 18590) and L.R. No. 27229(originally
18591/11) in Lang’ata where the St Mary’s Mission Hospital and high
school is now located in 1998. The purchase of the 20-acre piece of land
cost Sh38 million.
The Catholic priest says he later acquired another piece of land in
Elementaita, Nakuru L.R. No. 9361/10 and entered into building contracts
with Kilimanjaro Construction Company Limited for the construction of
the hospital and paid all the construction costs.
“The plaintiff operated, managed and ran both hospitals in Lang’ata
and Elementaita for over 10 years when all of a sudden and due to a
change of leadership at the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi, the new
leaders started to interfere with the running and management of the
hospitals,” his statement further reads.
“They claim that because the pieces of land on which the hospitals
stand were registered in the name of their registered trustees, the
plaintiff was a trespasser on the hospitals who needed to be evicted,”
Father Fryda says.
He further claims that at about the same time the Assumption Sisters
of Nairobi started claiming ownership of the land and institution
therein, John Cardinal Njue started calling him and expressed interest
in the hospitals and the land on which they were built.
He claims the Cardinal also started piling pressure on the Maryknoll
Fathers and Brothers Society in the United States to have him hand over
the hospitals to the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi and also be taken out
of the country.
He also accuses the Cardinal of teaming up with seven other
individuals to found a Private University College known as Regina Pacis
University College on the Lang’ata land.
“It is thus clear beyond peradventure that the aim of the defendants
is to take the property of St Mary’s Mission hospital both in Nairobi
and Elementaita, which were established through the fundraising efforts
of the Plaintiff…. and to transfer them to the Private University
College fronted by and calculated to personally benefit the first
defendant (John Cardinal Njue),” he says.
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Adebayo Folorunsho-Francis is a communicator, Journalist, blogger, business coach and, of course, a prolific writer. He has Dip (Journalism) and B.A. (History & International Relations) from the Lagos State University (LASU). The self-effacing young man has worked for national, regional and local newspapers. He had worked with THISDAY covered community news for ISLAND NEWS and corresponded with P.M. NEWS (evening tabloid). Presently, he is the editor of CITYPULSE MEDIA and senior correspondent of PHARMANEWS, West Africa foremost health and pharmaceutical journal.

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