Teachers oppose Moi referral hospital upgrade in land row

Elgeyo-Marakwet County governor Alex Tolgos. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Elgeyo-Marakwet County governor Alex Tolgos. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Hundreds of teachers in Keiyo have protested plans by the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to undertake tendering for construction of a modern hospital facility in land the turors lay claim to in Eldoret Town.

The teachers said they read malice in an advertisement by the hospital seeking bidders to develop the disputed parcels of land and warned they would take unspecified action.

Kenya National Union of Teachers Keiyo branch executive secretary Musa Busienei during a street protests in Iten town on Monday rubbished the National Land Commission public hearing on the row held in Uasin Gishu last week, saying it was a kangaroo court aimed at executing a pre-determined decision.

The land commission through vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya, during the public hearing said teachers who bought the property, had been conned and did not have any reason to lay claim on the land.

She said the property was a gazetted forest land belonging to Kenya Prisons and that part of it had been allocated Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The hospital last week advertised a tender in local dailies seeking interested companies and persons to bid for construction and equipping of a modern medical facility on the property in Kiplombe, Eldoret that teachers claim to be theirs.

But the teachers union yesterday took to the streets to protest the move.

“Our attention has been drawn to  the hospital project tendering in the said parcels of land. We are demonstrating here today telling the world that this is impunity of the highest order,” said Mr Busienei.

He said the teachers bought the property from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) 14 years ago.

Elgeyo Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos supported the teachers.

“I am ready to stand by these teachers. By the way if this land was sold by NSSF which is a State agency like Moi Referral Hospital, then it means it legally acquired it, if Moi Referral wants the land it should have followed a right procedure,” he said.

Cornelius Chepshoi, a leader in Keiyo, said the plan to upgrade the referral hospital was welcome  but not on the disputed property.

“Development should not come at a higher cost to these poor teachers who sacrificed their little earnings to buy an inheritance for their children,” he said. “You cannot be a custodian of the law and you are breaking it yourself. The teachers have genuine ownership documents.”