An American priest has moved to the appellate court to challenge a High Court judgment declaring the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi the rightful owners of the multibillion shilling St Mary’s Mission hospitals.
Dr William Charles Fryda of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Society, who lost the property ownership case, on Tuesday lodged an appeal seeking a reversal of the verdict.
Dr Fryda, through his lawyer Esther Mwangi, sought orders to put the High Court’s directive on hold pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
The issues surrounding the case are the conception, funding and management of the hospital property.
Environment and Land Court judge Sila Munyao last week declared the Catholic nuns the legal owners of the hospitals, located in Nairobi and Nakuru.
The ownership dispute between the nuns and the American missionary had been in court for more than six years.
Each party had laid claim to the property.
In his judgment, Justice Munyao ordered Dr Fryda to hand over the health institutions to the sisters, whom he said were entrusted by the donors to manage it through a company registered as St Mary’s Mission Hospital.
Dr Fryda, a trained cancer specialist, filed a case in 2011 seeking to eject the nuns from the hospital premises for allegedly interfering with the running of the institutions.
Justice Munyao last week said the evidence tabled in court proved that the hospital was to be run by the sisters.
The court dismissed claims by the priest of funding the entire hospital project, saying the institutions were co-founded and conceptualised by the two parties.
In his submissions in court, the priest claims he is the founder and chief executive officer of the institutions.
He said the nuns were trying to kick him out and take over the property yet he purchased the land using his own money and funds from his donors.
The sisters maintained they developed the hospital and other educational facilities, including Regina Pacis University College in Nairobi.