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KMTC students protest building of Kisumu cancer centre

Friday May 10 2019

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KMTC students hold peaceful demonstration on grounds where the Kisumu Radiotherapy Centre is to be built on May 10, 2019. They claimed the land belongs to KMTC. PHOTO | VICTOR OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VICTOR OTIENO             
By VICTOR OTIENO            
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"The fate of a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Kisumu Radiotheraphy Centre which was to take place this afternoon hangs in the balance after Kisumu Medical Training College (KMTC) students stormed the grounds where tents had been erected and brought them down.

Led by the institution's officials, they held a peaceful demonstration on the piece of land where the cancer centre is to be built, claiming the land belongs to KMTC.

KMTC students brought down tents pitched ahead
KMTC students brought down tents pitched ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kisumu Radiotherapy Centre on May 10, 2019. PHOTO | VICTOR OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The students later walked back to their classes.

The county government was forced to change the venue of the ceremony which was graced by Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.

KMTC students return to class after bringing
KMTC students return to class after bringing down the tents that had been erected for the groundbreaking ceremony of Kisumu Radiotherapy Centre on May 10, 2019. PHOTO | VICTOR OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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The event was held at Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTH) grounds.

KMTC chairman Philip Kaloki said the piece of land belongs to KMTC and thanked the students for coming out to protect the institution's "asset" as it had lost parts of it to other institutions in the area.

"We have the map showing clearly that this land belongs to the institution," said Prof Kaloki.

He said the institution has plans to build lecture halls, an engineering centre, a library and a playground for the students on the disputed land.

The chairman further said that a 2003 circular by the Health ministry directed that hospitals partition the land they own from KMTC's and that it was then that the institution secured ownership of that particular piece.

However, the county government refuted the claims and said the college sits on a piece of land that belongs to it.

"The construction of the facility will continue because we (Kisumu) have the title deed and everybody needs the hospital,” said Finance minister Nerry Achar.

He added that the construction will cost between Sh300 million and Sh400 million and that it will take place in phases in four years.

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