NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 11 – County governments have started dispatching letters to defiant striking doctors to show cause why they should not be sacked after they failed to report to work as directed.
Capital FM News has seen copies of some of the letters dispatched to the doctors seconded to Nairobi County.
“It has been noted that you have absented yourself from duty without permission for thirty five days from 5th December 2016 to date. In view of the above, your dismissal from service on account of absence from duty without reasonable cause is contemplated.”
Health County Executive Bernard Muia stated that the medics have seven days to respond to the letters before a decision is made to dismiss them.
“Before this is done, you are hereby called upon to show cause as to why the intended action should not be taken.”
He stated that if they do not go back to work by the end of that period, they will be sacked.
“Your representation if any should reach this office within seven days from the date of this letter failure to which the contemplated action will be taken without further reference to you,” he said.
These are part of the measures announced earlier this week by the Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya and will affect all doctors who fail to report to work by the close of business Wednesday.
Legal experts however say that counties have no powers to sack the doctors because their principal employer is the National Government.
Police are in the meantime looking for the officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists union (KMPDU) following a warrant of arrest issued by the courts yesterday.
In Kisumu, Governor Jack Ranguma has urged the striking doctors to soften their stance and consider the government’s offer on their pay demands.
Ranguma says Kenyans are going through hardships as a result of the protracted strike which is now in its 35th day.
“Doctors need to consider the suffering of Kenyans and at least consider the government’s offer. Kenyans are suffering and it is important that the medics go back to work and look after them,” he said.
“Yesterday I was in Nairobi discussing the doctors’ strike and somebody brought a very strange theory. He said that the doctors these days are very young and all of them appear to have come from rich families. And do you know that is true because the rich families can afford to take their children to parallel programs other than waiting for the normal program,” he stated.
He further indicated that what doctors in private hospitals are getting is far below what the government is offering despite carrying out heavy duties. “The money a private doctor is getting at the Aga Khan Hospital is much less that what his counterpart wants in public service.”