NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Doctors’ union officials have been sentenced to one month in jail for failing to call off the ongoing strike in contempt of court.
Justice Hellen Wasilwa says the sentence will remain suspended for two weeks, during which time they are required to call off the strike.
“Since I do not want the negotiations to collapse, I will give you a small window. A window that will ensure the negotiations continue but in the same vein, this window is only open for two weeks,” she ruled.
“What it means is that for today, I sentence you for one month in jail, suspended sentence which will fall down …the sentence is hanging on your heads. It will fall down on your heads within two weeks, if the strike is still on.”
The judge has ordered the officials to return back to court on January 26th when she will review the progress made and confirm if the strike will have been called off as ordered.
She termed their mitigation as insensitive to the plight of Kenyans because they have failed to call off the strike over a month later, in total disregard of the court orders which was issued on December 1 declaring the industrial action illegal.
Justice Wasilwa has made it clear that the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2013 is null and void because it was not registered in court as required by law.
“You are just disobedient Kenyans who disregard court orders and who have no regard for the rule of law,” she asserted. “I find you as not as law abiding citizens and the only thing that you deserve is being sentenced.”
“You have not presented your grievances before this court. There is no CBA that you are talking about because this court has not registered any CBA.”