NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Monday said it has instructed its lawyers to sue top managers in public hospitals for continued intimidation and threats to striking medics.
Union Secretary General Were Onyino said among those who will be sued include the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) Chief Executive Officer, Mathare Hospital Medical Superintendent and the Provincial Medical Officer in Central Province.
“Because of the continued intimidation from the government, we are going forth and sue them for abuse of office and for continuing to intimidate our members,” Onyino said.
The union said some of the coercion includes eviction from houses especially those working at KNH. Onyino however warned that the union was seeking audience with the rent tribunal to intervene since they pay rent like other tenants.
He criticised the move, explaining that the action by the managers violates court orders barring them from intimidating and threatening medical officers for taking part in the ongoing industrial action.
Onyino slammed a Cabinet decree last Thursday that the strikes by doctors and teachers illegal, and instead accused the government of flouting court directives.
He also said the Salaries and Remuneration Commission had no business in determining industrial relations which are between the union and the government.
Should the government fail to implement the pay agreement, Onyino said doctors from all parts of the country will converge at Kenyatta National Hospital on Wednesday morning and hold demonstrations to the Offices of the President and the Prime Minister, the Treasury and Afya House.
The union further accused the government of undermining the role of the medics and vowed that they will not return to work until their demands are met.
In a deal that ended a similar strike last year’s strike, the government agreed to pay self sponsored medical registrars a Sh92,000 monthly stipend.
“What the doctors are asking is actually less than what the Permanent Secretaries get as entertainment allowance. That amount of Sh92,000 for registrars at KNH compared to Sh100,000 entertainment allowances just shows how the government treats the common Kenyan,” Onyino protested.