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Day of reckoning for ‘sewage smelling’ doctors on strike as jail cell beckons

The KMPDU officials face a month behind bars for failing to call off their strike in contempt of court orders/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials are due in court to give an update on the progress of their negotiations with the government, after the two weeks they were given lapsed.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court instructed them to end the strike by Thursday or prepare to start a one month jail term for contempt of court on earlier orders.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa ordered the officials to return to the court, where she will review the progress made and confirm if the strike will have been called off.

On Wednesday, the officials moved to court seeking orders to suspend their jail sentence.

In the suit, the union wants their jail term suspended for two weeks to enable them finalise talks with the government.

During the latest negotiations with the Ministry of Health, the officials rejected an offer presented to them that considered the 40 per cent offer given by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the minimum requirement for doctors to resume work.

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu told Capital FM News that they had “agreed on the deal but walked out later, complicating the situation even further.”

According to Mailu, this was a negative attitude and stated the need for the doctors to soften their hard stance for the good of Kenyans.

He said that other demands accepted by the government included a new risk allowance of Sh10,000 and a 100 percent increment of call allowance from Sh30,000 to Sh66,000.

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The CS further stated that that all doctors be elevated to a job group higher which would make their salary increment to about 70 percent.

He explained that the agreements were drafted in a refined Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which the doctors were expected to append their signatures to at 2pm but that never happened.

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