Governors deny claims they pushed for doctors to be jailed
The Council of Governors has refuted claims that they ‘punctured’ negotiations between the government and striking doctors.
Speaking in Meru town, CoG chairman Peter Munya said the council only acted within the law by asking the industrial court to give directions after negotiations flopped.
“The Council of Governors [had no] option after negotiations failed, we did what law requires,” said Munya.
“We took the industrial crisis to the court. The accusations are erroneous and are as a result of misunderstanding of court modus operandi,” he reiterated.
While expressing regret that many Kenyans have lost lives due to lack of services owing to the ongoing strike by the medics, Munya added that the Judiciary is an independent arm of the government which does not act under influence from any quarter.
The CoG chair, however, insisted that both the government and the doctors could still negotiate over the offer to be given.
“It is still possible for both sides to resolve the matter. But we should also agree that hospitals cannot be shut forever, especially looking at the position we are in now where we cannot pay the 300 per cent increase they are demanding,” Munya said.
He also noted that the council has been engaging the clinical officers who have no registered union but their demands have been met through amicable ways.
He further called on the medics not to compare salaries paid to doctors in other countries, saying Kenya is a developing nation.
He stated that doctors should have taken the 46 per cent increase of their pay that had been placed in their basket, as there were possibilities of topping up the funds.
This comes after seven Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) officials were on Monday jailed for one month for contempt of court.
In a ruling by Labour and Employment court Judge Hellen Wasilwa, the court said the doctors did not demonstrate to court any new and compelling issue or pointed out any mistake or error apparent on the record or any sufficient cause that would warrant a review of the court’s order.
In a petition filed by the CoG, the court had asked the Union leaders to call off the strike and allow negotiations take place.
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