AG Muturi: Uhuru's transfer of Kenyatta University hospital to Health ministry illegal

Kenyatta University Hospital for Teaching, Referral and Research

The main entrance of Kenyatta University Hospital for Teaching, Referral and Research.

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

Attorney General Justin Muturi says the transfer of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital to the Ministry of Health as a parastatal was irregular.

Mr Muturi told the National Assembly's Public Investment Committee on Education that Legal Notice No 4 of 2019, which placed the Sh8.7 billion hospital under the Health ministry, should be reversed and the hospital returned to Kenyatta University.

"I don't agree that Legal Notice Number Four of 2019 is valid. The land on which the hospital stands belongs to Kenyatta University. How can the legal notice be valid?" Mr Muturi, the immediate past speaker, said. 

"You can't use a legal notice to transfer the property of one institution to another. I do not believe that Legal Notice No. 4 can stand the test of time. The creation of KUTRRH as a parastatal under a legal notice was not correct."

Mr Muturi said KUTRRH should have been created by an Act of Parliament and not by a legal notice.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta issued notice, which placed the Sh8.7 billion hospital under the Ministry of Health.

Kenyatta University, which built the facility, protested the decision, saying the move prevented its teachers and students from accessing the health facility. The original plan was to use the hospital for teaching, training and research.

"This House has already spoken and given the Executive six months to reverse the decision to transfer KUTRRH to the Ministry of Health," said Muturi. 

"This House speaks for and on behalf of the people. It is sad to learn that Kenyatta University students are going to Kiambu Hospital to do research but they have KUTRRH which they cannot access. This is unacceptable," said Mr Muturi.

Mr Muturi appeared before the committee chaired by Bumula MP Jack Wamboka to shed light on the ownership of KUTRRH as well as the status of land owned by PC Kinyanjui Technical Training Institute and Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology.The AG asked the committee to submit an interim report to be adopted when Parliament resumes from its month-long recess to compel the executive to act on the earlier recommendations of its two committees, the Health Committee and the Implementation Committee.The two committees had separately directed that KUTRRH be returned to Kenyatta University to enable medical students to access the facility for training and research.

"Even as this is happening, the Health Committee of the 12th Parliament recommended that the ownership and management of KUTRRH should revert to KU.

"Subsequently, I formed the Implementation Committee, then chaired by Moitalel Ole Kenta, which submitted a report, which was adopted by the House, calling for the implementation of the Health Committee report within six months."

The committee had last week directed the Attorney General to appear in person to clarify the legal status of KUTRRH's transfer to the Ministry of Health as a parastatal.The committee issued the directives before kicking out Ashley Toywa, a Senior State Counsel, and Njoroge Kamau, the Principal State Counsel at the State Law Office, arguing that they were unable to handle the "weighty matters".

"I agree that you were right to sack my officers last week. I know this is a serious matter and we should not allow this method (legal notice) of creating parastatals. This should have been taken to Parliament where there should have been public participation to create KUTRRH as a parastatal," said Mr Muturi."Given the size and magnitude of this matter, the fact that this legal notice was never brought to Parliament is a serious dereliction of duty and a serious oversight."KU vice-chancellor Paul Wainaina told MPs that on 9 July 2022, he almost lost his life fighting for KUTRRH and university land that had been allocated to the World Health Organisation."What I have heard from the Attorney General today is music to my ears. The direction he has given should be followed and the students will be happy," said Prof Wainaina.Mr Muturi promised the committee that the Attorney General's office will implement a court ruling that requires the eviction of squatters from KU land, except for the Kamae squatters who have claimed 30 acres.

He said the KU had no problem settling the squatters who had genuine allotment letters.