Court gives religious leaders five days to ‘resolve’ doctors’ strike

The Court of Appeal has given mediation panel on doctors’ strike five more days to conclude talks on implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement after allowing Inter-Religious Council of Kenya to join the mediation team.

With the doctors’ strike entering in its 89th day, Appellate Judges; Martha Koome, GBM Kariuki and Jamilla Mohamed, said the additional time should be utilized by the mediation panel to end the stalemate over the ongoing stalemate.

The enjoined Inter-Religious Council of Kenya in the talks is aimed at helping the team led by Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Kenya National Cohesion and Integration Commission resolve pending issues.

“Everybody is hopeful that the clergy will help in the remaining issues,” Justice Koome said.

Council Secretary General, Adan Wachu, expressed optimism that the striking medics and the government would come to an understanding.

“Our position is very clear we can be able to bring doctors and government together,” Wachu said.

LSK lawyer, Fredrick Obura, further intimated that only three issues remain unresolved including salaries and wages.

“As at Wednesday, March 1, we had a kind of consensus and there are three pending issues,” said Obura.

The bench further ruled that the report filed in court be treated as an interim report.

Senior counsel, James Orengo, however, asked the court to treat the report filed by the mediation team as pending, a prayer that was opposed by the Council of Governors lawyer, Eunice Lumala.

“Treat the report as final since the mediation process has failed,” Lumala submitted.

Justice Koome, however, indicated that the issue before the court is an extraordinary matter .

Speaking after the ruling, KMPDU Secretary General, Dr Ouma Oluga, and chair, Samuel Oroko, said the strike by doctors in public hospitals remains in force but added that they are commitment to resolving pending issues.

The doctors’ strike follows a three-year industrial dispute over the contentious CBA signed on June 27, 2013 – and agreement that was to be effected on July 1, 2013.

Matter will be mentioned on Tuesday, March 7, 2017.

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