Court sentences seven KMPDU officials to one month jail term

Feb 14, 2017, 00:39
Court sentences seven KMPDU officials to one month jail term

Doctors downed their tools to push the government to implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) they signed in 2013 that, among others, sought to improve their salaries and working conditions in public hospitals.

A labor court in Kenya jailed seven doctors' union officials for failing to comply with an order demanding that they end their strike.

"The action marks the lowest point that Jubilee's intransigence, incompetence and inability to lead has brought the nation to.Rather than resolve the crisis in the health sector, the jailing of union officials deepens it and sets an extremely risky precedent".

"The arrest has been sugarcoated for contempt of court but we know the real reason is that they have been jailed for leading the strike which is within their right", said Dr. Masika.

"This court decides to resume its order sentencing the applicants to a one-month jail term", she said.

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The officials were jailed for contempt of court following the prolonged strike by doctors which has now entered 71 days. "The action marks the lowest point that Jubilee's intransigence, incompetence and inability to lead has brought the nation to", he said.

Kenyan university lecturers have also been on strike since last month over pay.

Raila challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to rise to the occasion and provide leadership in the myriads of issues facing the country.

The deal requires the government to give doctors a 300 per cent pay rise, review their working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions and address under-staffing in state hospitals. However, the government maintains it can only afford 40 percent. "The government needs to make an offer that would be acceptable until that happens", he said.

Union members and supporters will hold daily vigils outside prison until the officials are released, he added. In January, Justice Hellen Wasilwa sentenced leaders to jail for ignoring her earlier ruling, but suspended the sentence to allow time for talks.