Doctors’ day of reckoning comes Friday

Bernice Mbugua and Luke Awich @PeopleDailyKe

Employment and Labour Relations Court will rule on Friday whether it will review its orders that sentenced seven doctors to a one month suspended jail term.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa said she will give the ruling after submissions from the doctors and Council of Governors (CoG). At the same time, two parliamentary committees are set to begin investigations into the strike that enters two months today.

Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso directed the departmental committee on Health and Labour to look into the matter to come up with an amicable solution.

The move came after the House received a petition by the Kenya Medical, Practitioners and Dentists Union (KPMDU) secretary general Ouma Oluga asking intervention of the House on the strike. In the court, KMPDU officials want the judge to review its sentencing order claiming it was unfair as it only targeted one side.

They argue that the CoG “has not showed any interest whatsoever” in the negotiations. Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, who addressed as a friend of the court, said the orders were not pursuasive to the other party.

“Had you issued guidelines and timeliness so that the doctors and the Health ministry complete these negotiations as opposed to this order, My Lady, we would not be here,” he said.

“The court now needs to issue new guidelines on the way forward,” he added. Justice Wasilwa said the sentence still stands until she delivers her ruling on Friday. Meanwhile, nurses have threatened to down tools from tomorrow if their nursing service allowance is not paid by end of business today.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako yesterday accused a number of counties of dragging feet on the special allowance that was one of the agreements reached to end the December 2016 national strike.

Panyako claimed some counties have refused to factor the allowance in the nurses’ January salary despite receiving the monies from the national Treasury for the same. He said Homa Bay, Kiambu, Bomet and Lamu counties as well as national government run hospitals as having complied and will not be affected by the strike.

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