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NEWSFatima Mission Hospital, Catholic nuns embroiled in a bitter conflict

Fatima Mission Hospital, Catholic nuns embroiled in a bitter conflict

Fatima Mission Hospital in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado North is currently embroiled in a controversy following an attempted forceful takeover by a group of nuns backed by the Catholic Diocese of Ngong.

On Friday, the nuns visited the hospital, illegally proclaiming a change in management and demanding that the current doctors hand over the keys to the facility.

However, their attempt to forcefully enter the facility was met with resistance from the medical professionals who stood their ground.

“They came in at dusk and asked us to hand over the keys. They did not show us any legal documents, and we refused to give them the keys,” one of the medics told us on Friday, March 3, 2023.

After their attempt to forcefully enter the facility failed, they called a quick meeting at the hospital’s outdoor garden and presented their agenda.

The existing staff, who have gone unpaid for the last five months, fear that they could be kicked out without receiving their outstanding dues.

“We have not been paid for five months now, and the management has not been helpful. We are afraid that we might never get paid,” another source added.

When they raised questions concerning the thorny issue of outstanding wages, which amount to hundreds of thousands, the nuns remained noncommittal on signing off the delayed paychecks.

They promised to respond next week.

“We asked them about our unpaid salaries, but they did not give us any concrete answers. They only promised to respond on Monday, but we doubt that they will provide any solution,” a source added.

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Prior to the attempted forceful takeover, the disgruntled medics had staged a go-slow, faulting the management of the mission hospital led by Dr Joseph Omwenga for failing to address their concerns, despite multiple complaints of poor pay and an unfavourable working environment.

The Congolese doctor had reportedly flooded the hospital with his countrymen from DRC.

Some of the affected doctors and nurses who spoke to us revealed that the hospital has not been remitting deductions to microfinance institutions where its employees are enrolled, leaving most of them with thousands in arrears and possibly at risk of auction by rogue lenders.

“The management has been deducting money from our salaries, but they have not been remitting the deductions to ICEA insurance and Waumini Sacco. We are now in arrears dating back as far as 2012 and the lenders are threatening us every day,” a medic lamented.

They have repeatedly reached out to Ngong Catholic Diocese Bishop, but he has not been helpful, leaving them to suspect that he is part of the ongoing heist at Fatima Mission Hospital.

“We reached out to the bishop, but he did not give us any concrete answers. We suspect he sent the nuns to raid the hospital,” a nurse informed us.

Below is some media from the Friday evening altercation that brought activities to a standstill.

We will keep an eye on this developing story and bring you the latest updates as they unfold on Monday.

The affected workers have vowed to seek justice and pursue the matter to higher authorities, with plans to file a case at the Labour Courts.

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They are currently searching for a lawyer to represent them and are open to any assistance from willing individuals or organizations.

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