Governor Waiguru fires striking Kirinyaga health workers


Governor Waiguru fires striking Kirinyaga health workers
File image of Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • In a ruling delivered last week on Thursday, Justice Nzioka Mutua, sitting at the Employment and Labour Court in Nyeri ruled that the health workers strike in Kirinyaga county was “permanently declared illegal, unlawful and unprotected.”
  • The county administration, following the verdict, gave the workers until Monday, July 8 to resume work, however, some of the health practitioners declined to resume duty.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has sacked health workers who declined to resume duty on Monday after the court declared their strike as illegal.

In a ruling delivered last week on Thursday, Justice Nzioka Mutua, sitting at the Employment and Labour Court in Nyeri ruled that the health workers strike in Kirinyaga county was “permanently declared illegal, unlawful and unprotected.”

The county administration, following the verdict, gave the workers until Monday, July 8 to resume work, however, some of the health practitioners declined to resume duty.

“Any officer who did not report to work by Monday 8th July, 2019 stands dismissed and should collect their letters of termination from their previous duty stations,” said Waiguru in a press statement on Monday.

“It is regrettable that some health workers who participated in the strike action have chosen not to report back on duty. This can only mean that the said medical staff have made the unfortunate choice to withdraw their services to the people of Kirinyaga, which leaves me no choice but to terminate their employment on the grounds of Summary Dismissal pursuant to Sec 44 of The Employment Act 2007.”

She further noted that the sacked health workers had been immediately replaced.

“The County Government has effective immediately replaced these personnel with an equivalent number of new health workers who shall be deployed to the various health facilities in the county,” added the Governor.

“Once again, the public’s constitutional right to access affordable, quality healthcare remains an important priority for the County Government and every effort towards delivering this should never be compromised by selfish, personal gain nor the political ambitions of a select few.”

According to the county government, 251 health workers did not participate in the strike, while others heeded the call to resume duty.

Governor Waiguru further says she has directed for dialogue sessions to be held between the County Executive and the health workers, upon their return to work, to help resolve the existing grievances.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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