A Court in Nairobi has issued a warrant of arrest for doctors’ union officials for not appearing before it to be sentenced.
The court had found the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union officials guilty of contempt of court for refusing to call off the ongoing strike as directed by the court.
Employment and Labor Relations Court Judge, Hellen Wasilwa made the ruling on Tuesday, January 10 before directing the OCS Kilimani Police Station to enforce the warrants of arrest.
The warrant of arrest for doctors’ union officials comes almost immediately after the national government failed to reach a deal with striking doctors. Series of meetings were held between the government and doctors’ union officials before talks broke down.
The government, through the Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, then went on to threaten disciplinary action against the striking doctors if they fail to resume duties by Wednesday, January 11.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Council of Governors headquarters in Nairobi on Monday, Chairman Peter Munya said:
”Both governments, national and county, have given a reasonable deal to the doctors that they need to consider. We are calling on them to take the offer and resume work to avoid disciplinary action.”
”You cannot call people for negotiations then they keep saying CBA. This CBA is not in accordance with the law. Even courts have said that.”
The doctors union, led by chairman Samuel Oroko and secretary general, Ouma Oluga, insist to only call off the strike after the 2013 CBA is fully implemented.
Munya said doctors who fail to report to work after the deadline will be issued with ”Show Cause Letters” after which they will be dismissed.
He said county governments will then go ahead to advertise and recruit other doctors including foreign ones for the vacated positions.
CS Maliu spoke with a different tone, saying that despite the doctors’ unwillingness to negotiate, the Government’s offer was still on the table.