Attorney General Justin Muturi on Thursday backed the move by government to change the ownership of the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital to be solely run by the board and CEO.
Muturi had earlier on met Parliamentary Investment Committee on Education and Governance over wrangles precipitated by disagreements over management of the hospital, calling for discussions with all the key players and stakeholders affected by the issue.
During the interaction Senate Health Committee Chairperson Jackson Mandago informed the AG that a recent tour of the facility by committee members left the lawmakers shocked at the state of facilities and infrastructure at the hospital.
A statement released by AG Muturi's office revealed that Kenyatta University students did not have space to hold their practicals, forcing some to go to Kiambu Institute of Studies.
The statement also pointed out that some of the students had complained about being locked from accessing the hospital’s facilities for teaching and training purposes.
This came a few hours after the hospital's board Chairperson Prof Olive Mugenda defended the appointment of Ahmed Dagane as CEO saying he is qualified for the position.
Speaking in Mombasa, Prof. Olive Mugenda disputed the argument that Ahmed Dagane's background as a nurse will derail him from running the institution efficiently.
“It is important to remember that KUTRRH is an equal opportunity employer and operates strictly within the confines of the Constitution and related legal provisions,'' Mugenda in a statement.
The Chairperson also said that several rulings have been issued by various Courts which confirmed that qualified candidates cannot be blocked from serving in positions based on their professional background.
“Mr Dagane is a qualified and experienced Clinical Professional with a background in Nursing and holds post-graduate Master in Business Administration Qualifications,'' said Mugenda while defending the appointment.
She further added that the CEO was fairly appointed and is subject to performance tracking just like any other candidate would.
Appearing before the Public Investments Committee on Governance and Education on Wednesday, Prof. Mugenda was put on the spot with lawmakers questioning why she appointed Dagane as CEO despite him not being a doctor.
Prof. Mugenda also welcomed the legal advisory issued by Attorney General Justin Muturi which recommended the facility be placed under the Ministry of Health.
The Board Chairperson said the directive will ensure a cordial working relationship between the national hospital and Kenyatta University.
''This legal opinion will allow us to focus on our mandate to provide quality medical services in the public interest and avoid unnecessary leadership distractions as both KUTRRH and KU are ultimately owned by the government and held in trust for the people of Kenya,” Prof. Mugenda said.
This follows questions that arose following Legal Notice No. 4 of 2019, which placed KUTRRH under the Ministry of Health in the Health Act of 2017.