Interview earns worker at Kenyan hospital suspension

June 11, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11- A union official at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) who gave Capital News an interview following a row on overtime allowances and corruption allegations at the health facility has been interdicted.

Seth Panyako who is the Works Committee Spokesperson was interdicted on Friday “for holding a media brief without authorisation from the Chief Executive Officer, which is in contravention of the hospital terms and conditions of service.”

“The letter states that I have to respond within seven days. But I am accusing the human resources department… I am accusing Kenyatta National Hospital management for propagating corruption within the institution so if they are the same people I am accusing, how then do I respond to them?” he posed.

The letter seen by Capital News stated that Mr Panyako was entitled to half salary during the interdiction period but would continue to receive house, outpatient medical and transport allowances.

“I will respond to the Minister of Medical Services, Permanent Secretary, Kenya Anti corruption Commission and I will also write to the office of the Prime Minister so that if a committee has to be constituted (to investigate his alleged misdeeds), it should not be within Kenyatta National Hospital,” Mr Panyako said.

He said if his allegations of malpractice were found to be untrue, he was ready to be fired and leave the service.

“I think I don’t belong to Kenyatta if we have to continue condoning corruption,” he said.

The letter of interdiction dated Jun 11 states that Mr Panyako discussed payment of locum (overtime) for nurses that led to closure of theatres, corruption allegation on employment, sexual harassment/favours on staff seeking promotions, delayed implementation of Schemes of Service and how the Acting Chief Executive Officer was rude to the Chief Shop Steward (Mr Panyako) on 9th June 2010.

“In view of the above and considering the seriousness of the offence, it has been decided that you should be and are hereby interdicted from duty with effect from 11th June 2010,” the letter stated in part.

However in the interview with Capital News, Mr Panyako did not talk about the Acting Chief Executive Officer being rude to him.

Mr Panyako is also not expected to leave his duty station without permission from the Deputy Human Resource Manager or any other person duly authorised to grant such permission.

“You will also be required to be reporting to the deputy human resource manager once a week on Wednesdays between 9 am and 12 noon until your case is finalised,” the letter further stated.

Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals, and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA) Chairperson, Jared Conan said the interdiction was unnecessary for and the union would respond as appropriate.

“It has come to us as a surprise because we didn’t expect this and now since it has come we shall follow the procedure laid down by the institution by answering to the letter and we shall also inform the workers on what is happening because the letter is too harsh,” he said.

Works Committee Treasurer Zachary Were condemned the action saying it was not a right solution to the problem.

“The interdiction of our Chief Shop- steward is not the right solution to this matter because he is a spokesperson in the committee and what he says has been passed by the whole committee,” Mr Were said.

“If it was interdiction, they should have interdicted the whole committee but not personalise it,” he added.


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