A Sh28 billion project to build a new Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) may delay after a group of squatters filed a court injunction to suspend the construction until they are resettled.
The squatters comprising 50 families claim to have been living on a section of the land earmarked for the construction of the referral hospital for the last 60 years.
Led by their chairman Samuel Kamau, the squatters sued National Land Commission (NLC) and the hospital as the first and second respondents respectively.
In the suit, which was filed under the certificate of urgency at Eldoret Land and Environment Court, the squatters claim to be the bonafide allottees of Lumumba Block 10 which is part of the said land.
They have accused NLC of allocating the referral hospital the land without their consent.
The squatters’ further claimed that they had been receiving eviction threats from the commission and police officers despite the fact that the land is the only place they have called home.
Through their advocate Mandere Nyandoro, they expressed fears that unless their application is heard urgently they stand to suffer irreparable loss as they might be locked out of the only place they have known as their home.
In their notice of motion, they are praying the court to revoke the sale agreement between the land commission and Moi referral hospital for the parcel of land known as Lumumba Block 10.
The MTRH had issued to them a 14--day eviction notice before they moved to court on March 28 to file a petition under a certificate of urgency to suspend their eviction until the matter is heard on Friday.
However, MTRH chief executive Wilson Aruasa expressed confidence that said the project on the 200-acre parcel of land in Kiplombe would kick off as soon as the matter is solved by the court.
“We hope our legal department will be able to handle it conclusively. There should be no fears that the project will be stalled because of this case,” he said.
Dr Aruasa said construction plans had been completed and the work is expected to start as soon as the matter is determined by the court.
The project had also been facing another long-standing legal battle between the hospital and the Kenya Prison Service over ownership of a section of the land set aside for the expansion of the facility.
The dispute was resolved after the NLC permitted the use of the property for the hospital project.
Dr Aruasa said the government has given out Sh200 million for the first phase.
A section of the land was hived off a 618-acre piece of land belonging to Eldoret GK Prison land on the outskirts of Eldoret town.