Nurses call Uhuru’s bluff, stay away from hospitals as deadline expires


File image of nurses on strike. PHOTO| COURTESY
File image of nurses on strike. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday warned striking nurses to return to work by today (Friday, Feb 15) or they would be fired.
  • That threat was followed by another one from the Council of Governors who said a headcount would be conducted across the country to identify nurses who will not have reported to work.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday warned striking nurses to return to work by today (Friday, Feb 15) or they would be fired.

That threat was followed by another one from the Council of Governors who said a headcount would be conducted across the country to identify nurses who will not have reported to work.

“The National and County Governments stand with the President’s pronouncement. A roll call will be undertaken by both levels of Government tomorrow, Friday 15, 2019 at 8am and nurses who will fail to return to work will be dismissed and further necessary disciplinary action will be undertaken in accordance with the law, ” read a statement signed by Mr. Oparanya and Health CS Sicily Kariuki.

But the nurses listened to all the threats and turned their noses up and vowed to ignore them with their union insisting the strike is still on.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary-General Seth Panyako asked the nurses “to remain firm.”

“The strike is a right and properly in place, we shall give them directions,” said Panyako.

Joseph Bwasi, the chairman of KNUN echoed his sentiments saying that the union does not receive its orders from State House.

“We are not responding to the President but rather the status of the ongoing strike across the country,” he said.

“The union leadership has a mandate drawn from our membership, the ongoing strike thereby is determined by the members through the branch leadership. We the national leaders can only be directed by the branch leadership.”

A spot check showed that nurses in the affected counties defied the presidential orders and stayed away.

Two after the deadline expired, the national and county governments had not announced any dismissal of the nurses.

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Story By Allan Irungu
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