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Kenyan health care workers hold a demonstration to protest poor working conditions in this file photo.

Capital Health

Nurses in fresh strike threat from Monday

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21  – The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) said it will hold regional demonstrations from Monday to press for the implementation of an agreement with the counties.

KNUN Secretary-General, Seth Panyako, while addressing journalists on Thursday, said the nurse’s body has suspended return-to-work negotiations at the county level.

“Starting Monday, all our KNUN branches will engage in demonstrations in all the provinces of Kenya,” he said.

He faulted the Council of Governors (CoG) for overseeing a near-paralysis in county-run facilities further noting that county heads are mismanaging the funds at the devolved unit.

“If these governors knew they would not manage the health sector, why did they hurriedly take it? Return it to the national government,” Panyako said while highlighting how national run health facilities have been well managed.

“Management in these hospitals is so excellent, all the hospitals don’t go on strike,” he added,

Meanwhile, the National Treasury has disbursed Shs 24.6 billion to county governments at a time when county heads are decrying delayed disbursements which affected critical expenses including payrolls for healthcare workers some of whom on strike.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani on Thursday appealed to county governments to utilize Sh61.4 billion revenue reserves at the Central Bank of Kenya as they await additional disbursements from the exchequer.

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Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya has, however, dismissed claims that county governments have revenue reserves saying that balances are monies already committed for ongoing/unfinished projects within the counties that are at different stages of completion.

Panyako, however, faults CoG for failing to withdraw the reserves held at CBK  reserves saying Governors are creating loopholes for corruption.

“The largest money in county and national government goes to corruption, they have been told to withdraw the money but they are refusing because they know that is where they are getting kickbacks,” Panyako said.

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