Home NEWS Local News Three more health unions down tools as Kindiki bans protests

Three more health unions down tools as Kindiki bans protests

CS Kithure Kindiki

The government has banned demonstrations by striking doctors.

In a terse statement Tuesday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki termed the industrial action by the health workers illegal for defying a court order to go back to work.

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Consequently, he has directed police to ensure strict maintenance of law and order to protect the general public and the health workers providing services pending the resolution of the labour dispute.

“It is noted with grave concern that the participants in the industrial action by health workers continue to defy the aforesaid court order and to intimidate and threaten violence against health workers who have opted not to participate in the unlawful strike” he said.

“Gatherings, protests or whatever other action(s) in pursuit of grievances outside the law and in breach of court directives undermines the constitutional order of the Country and are, therefore, not permissible” he stated.

Three more unions strike

The development came in the wake of a strike notice by three more health unions.

Public Health Officers, Nutritionists and Pharmaceutical Technologists have announced the commencement of an indefinite strike beginning Tuesday, April 9 with planned peaceful demonstrations across the country.

“We, the united bodies of the Kenya Environmental Health and Public Health Practitioners Union (KEHPHPU), the Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists (KNUPT), and the Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUNAD), with a heavy heart, announce the commencement of an indefinite strike action starting today, 9th April 2024″ the union officials said.

They regretted that their strike notice had been ignored.

” We provided a seven (7) day ultimatum to the Ministry of Health and County Governments to address our longstanding grievances. Regrettably, this period has lapsed without any substantive action or satisfactory response from the concerned authorities” they said.

Kindiki further accused the medics of intimidating and threatening their colleagues who have refused to join the strike.

“The participants in the unlawful industrial action have repeatedly threatened to disrupt service delivery in health institutions, to interfere with the daily activities of the non-participating health workers and to undermine public order generally” he added.

On April 3, 2024, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered parties in the ongoing industrial dispute to engage in conciliation and negotiation proceedings within 14 days and thereafter file in court a memorandum of understanding on minimum service guarantees in public health institutions.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) Tuesday rallied medical students and interns for nationwide protests.

Clinical officers and Healthcare workers hired by the government under the Universal Healthcare programme have also staged demonstrations demanding better terms.

The government insists it has no money to meet the medics’ salary demands.

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