By Beth Nyaga
The Court of Appeal has granted the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) mediators and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) officials 7 more days to conclude talks aimed at resolving the prolonged doctor’s strike.
The mediators through lawyers James Orengo and Orao Obura reported that progress had been made on a number of issues but asked for the seven days to resolve what remains contentious.
Judge Hannah Okwengu granted the extension citing significant strides have been made by the LSK and KNCHR in ending the medics’ work boycott.
“We are mindful of the fact that there is a lot of suffering being experienced in the public health sector and that there is need for the outstanding issues to be resolved as soon as possible. It is however necessary to give the mediators adequate time,” Justice Hannah Okwengu ruled.
The team was expected to deliver to the court a report on the progress of the mediation having been given 5 days last week but this was not the case.
Intrigues including a hard line stance by government and KMPDU officials and the denial by former permanent secretary Mark Bor of knowledge of the 2013 CBA have however stalled the talks.
On Wednesday, the union officials led by Secretary General Dr. Ouma Oluga appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Labour where they urged parliament to reign in the government to commit to the talks.
The union officials expressed their fears that a seemingly disconnect between the Health CS Cleopa Mailu and PS Nicholas Muraguri may derail the talks.