Why these Kenyan doctors risk beans for meals

Doctors' strike now in its second month

Ouma Oluga
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists' Union secretary general Dr Ouma Oluga. PHOTO: THE STAR

A labour court has issued orders for the arrest of Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union officials.

Listed in the order are; Secretary General Ouma Oluga, Chairman Samuel Oroko, Treasurer Daisy Korir and Deputy Secretary General Mwachonda Chibandzi. Others who risk being arrested are Allan Ochanji, Titus Ondoro and Evelyne Chege.

Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Hellen Wasilwa said she was left with no other option but order the arrests after the officials failed to appear in court as directed.

The judge was scheduled to pass judgment on the aforementioned for disobeying a court order that put an end to the ongoing doctors’ strike.

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kenya doctors
Doctors at Coast general hospital in Mombasa assembly at the administration block during a past strike. PHOTO: LABAN WALLOGA/ NATION MEDIA GROUP

“In the absence of the contemptors, a warrant of arrest is inevitable,” Wasilwa noted. “I can’t do anything else other than to issue a warrant of arrest against them. If they don’t want to come to court, let the officers arrest them and bring them before me.”

She asked the Kilimani Police Station OCS to enforce the order.

KMPDU Nairobi branch Secretary General Thuranira Kaugiria however said that Oluga and Oroko were being hidden somewhere in Nairobi and will be produced in court today (Wednesday, January 11).

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“We’ll then apply for bail on Friday so they can continue with negotiations. We didn’t want them in court today because they would have been arrested in an uncouth manner and taken to prison,” Thuranira told journalists at the Railway Club, Nairobi.

Korir, Mwachonda and Chege appeared briefly at the Tuesday meeting before vanishing into thin air even as 3,500 doctors working in public hospitals stay put on Day 38 of the strike.

This is happening even as county governments which employ 80 per cent of the doctors, threatened to sack them if they do not resume work on Wednesday.

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The doctors resolved not to collect the show cause and dismissal letters adding they will not negotiate with the counties.

“You’re the most talented people in Kenya, you have the brains and you shouldn’t be apologetic,” Korir said to the members.

The striking doctors have twice rejected salary increment offers and new allowances by the government.

The last offer by the President adjusted the monthly pay of an intern upwards from Sh126,000 to Sh197,000.