Church faces fresh hospitals’ case
Posted Monday, February 18 2013 at 00:30
- Missionary asks High Court to stop Catholics from interfering with his right to refer the dispute to Kenyan judiciary
A missionary doctor embroiled in a row over ownership of multi-billion hospitals with the Catholic Church has filed a fresh petition in court.
Dr William Fryda now wants the High Court to restrain the church’s head John Cardinal Njue and regional superior of Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers of New York Lance Nadeu from interfering with his right to refer the dispute to Kenyan courts.
The dispute pits Dr Fryda and Assumption Sisters of Nairobi (ASN) over the ownership of St Mary’s Mission hospitals located in Nairobi and Elementaita.
The priest claims to own the hospitals built using donor funds for low income earners.
He says since he is a foreigner, he incorporated the Sisters as trustees for the purpose of registration of the land on which the hospitals stand.
The registration, according to him, was to be transferred later to a limited company called St Mary’s Mission Hospital.
In his witness statement, he says he was in the process of putting up a third hospital in Sagana, Kirinyaga, when the Sisters branded him a trespasser and asked him to move out of all the parcels he had bought.
|What petitioner alleges in suit|
He then moved to court and it later emerged that Cardinal Njue was a trustee of Pacis University College — a private institution the Sisters had registered using title deeds for the hospitals’ land.
Dr Fryda then started accusing the prelate and the Sisters of trying take over the property of St Mary’s Mission Hospital from him.
He sought court orders stopping Cardinal Njue and Sister Marie Therese Gacambi of ASN from harassing him in the dispute.
This was after the cardinal attempted to compel him to have the dispute settled out of court. Early last year Cardinal Njue sought court orders to have the suit referred for arbitration. He also wanted the media barred from covering it, saying it would prejudice him and the Catholic Church.
After filing the suit, Maryknoll Society, which Dr Fryda is answerable to, wrote to him on December 10, 2012 accusing him of disobedience towards his superiors.
But last week Dr Fryda decided to file a constitutional petition against the cardinal and the Reverend Nadeu, with Maryknoll Society listed as the third respondent.
In his petition, Dr Fryda says by interfering with the prosecution of the cases he has filed in courts, the respondents are denying him his constitutional rights.
He says the Sisters have also filed four suits against him yet no one has asked them to withdraw them.
He is also asking the court to order the respondents to pay him damages for allegedly interfering with his constitutional rights.