CONTEMPT OF COURT

Ngilu summoned for not paying study leave doctors

She said they had been recalled. Salaries stopped in July. Doctors want reinstatement, back pay

In Summary

•Doctors' lawyer Henry Kurauka said Kitui doctors have not been paid their salaries and other dues since July this year.

•The doctors will suffer great prejudice, loss and damage unless their reliefs sought are granted to them,” the petition reads.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu during a meeting in Kitui town in May.
MADAME GOVERNOR: Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu during a meeting in Kitui town in May.
Image: FILE

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has been summoned to court next week to explain why she is yet to pay 20 doctors studying abroad and in Kenya.

Justice Monica Mbaru on Thursday also ordered the CEC Health and CO Health to appear personally alongside the county boss to show cause why they should not be punished for failing to pay doctors.

They could be declared in contempt of court.

Ngilu and the county officials are expected to appear on October 14 to explain why the doctors are yet to be paid.

The doctors are in different countries and also in Kenyan hospitals pursuing post-graduate studies. The county said they had been recalled. 

On October 5, the court issued the orders directing the county to pay the doctors their overdue salaries.

Lawyer Henry Kurauka said Kitui doctors have not been paid their salaries and other dues since July 2021. They want arrears and salary reinstatement.

Kurauka urged the court to discipline the governor and the country officials for disobeying court orders, furthering applying for warrants of arrest.

On October 5, Justice Monica Mbaru gave the county until close of business the same day to confirm payment.

KMPDU sued the county for stopping payment of salaries effective on July 1.

“The doctors will suffer great prejudice, loss and damage unless their reliefs sought are granted," the petition reads.

The county had approved applications by the doctors for two years full time paid post-graduate study leaves in various states and universities.

The union said the county had approved applications by the doctors for two years full-time paid post-graduate studies leave in various states and universities.

Kurauka said due to the approval of study leaves, the doctors enrolled in specialised courses.

KMPDU said the specialised training will boost universal health care and ensure access to specialised treatment in Kitui, thus improving public health and the welfare of the doctors.

The doctors are training in the US, Tanzania, Ukraine and Kenya.

“The abrupt decision of the county to recall the doctors was unreasonable and oppressive. Thus, it triggered a triggered a petition to be filed where orders were issued staying the directive to recall the doctors.” The petition reads.

KMPDU said the action to stop payment of the doctor’s salaries is predatory, malicious, illegal and unfair.

“The petitioner avers that by failure to pay July 2021 salaries due to an employee, the county is in breach of Section 17 of the employment Act. It obligates the employer to pay salaries and allowances at the end of each working month without unreasonable delay,” the petition reads.

(Edited by V. Graham)