NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 11 – Police are looking for Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials following a court order that they be arrested for skipping sentencing.
Kilimani Police Station boss Peter Katam told Capital FM News that they have formally received the instructions and are now pursuing the officials after they were found guilty of contempt.
“We have now received the orders and as at this moment, we are looking for the officials. That is all that we can say as at this moment.”
The union officials were required to appear in court for sentencing on Tuesday, after they were found guilty of defying an order barring them from going on strike.
Justice Wasilwa ruled that the court had no option, other than to issue the arrest warrants.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Health has expressed its commitment to continue dialogue with striking doctors even as the deadline for them to return to work expires Wednesday.
In a statement, the Ministry indicated that as a show of good faith to a negotiated settlement, the County and National governments will continue to dialogue with the doctors unions.
“The 300 percent pay rise demanded by the doctors union puts the salary of an intern doctor at Sh325,730 per month which is equivalent to what a deputy Solicitor General who has 15 years experience after admission to the Bar currently earns,” it pointed out.
“The above notwithstanding, the government is committed to provide a solution to the ongoing doctors strike. As a show of our commitment to a negotiated settlement, the National and County governments will continue to dialogue with the doctors unions.”
The statement reiterated that the government is ready to negotiate and conclude a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) within 60 days from the return to work date.
“Cognizant of the vital role played by Collective Bargaining Agreements in fostering harmony between Employees and Employers, the Government is ready and willing to negotiate and conclude a CBA within 60 days from the return to work date,” it stated.
It comes even as the Nairobi County Government resolved to sack striking doctors by Friday if they do not go back to work.
Governor Evans Kidero stated that the county had already written to doctors to provide show-cause letters on why they should not be dismissed and that those on strike were not paid their December salaries.
He said that only 54 doctors had resumed work across all county hospitals since December.
According to Health County Executive Benard Muia, the county intends to recruit new doctors even as it engages 17 hospitals in a bid to restore normalcy in public hospitals.