- KMPDU officials said they would not call off the strike despite the intimidation.
- Moi University vice chancellor Prof Kosgey had promised to deal with the matter in December last year.
The strike by more than 200 doctor-lecturers at the Moi University medical school has entered the third month as the dispute over payment of enhanced clinical allowances moved to court.
The doctor-lecturers are demanding more than Sh200 million payment for enhanced clinical allowances withheld by the university for the last two years. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union said they will not relent until the money is released.
Dr Davji Bhimji Atella, the KPMDU secretary general, met the doctors in Eldoret yesterday and said they moved to court following threats and intimidation directed at the striking medics by the university management.
Moi University vice chancellor Prof Isaac Kosgey did not pick calls or respond to text messages regarding the complaints by the medics even though he had promised to deal with the matter in December last year.
Dr Atella claimed that the university management had illegally diverted the more than Sh200 million released by the Treasury two years ago to pay the allowances.
“Instead of releasing the money which they corruptly diverted, they have resorted to threatening the union and the lecturers,” Dr Attela said.
He further said they had sued the university after it wrote a letter to the lecturers threatening to sack them.
“Our strike is protected in law because we followed due process and gave notice as required. That is why we have also sued them in court,” Dr Atella added.
He said since the strike started last November, the VC and his team have refused to recognise the union and make any efforts to end the boycott which has paralysed learning at the School of Medicine which is located at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
Dr Atella said they had again written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe how the money went missing at the university causing the doctor-lecturers to suffer yet the government disbursed the money.
“Other universities paid out the money to doctor- lecturers and we wonder why Moi University is the only one which has withheld our rights.”
Dr Atella said the doctor-lecturers had been patient enough, but dialogue to have the money released had failed.
The medics revealed that a partner institution had offered to clear the money so that the doctors can resume but the university had rejected the deal.
KMPDU officials led by North Rift branch secretary Dr Kamunzi Mulei said they would not call off the strike despite the intimidation.
“We will remain on strike no matter how long it takes until the money is released," Dr Mulei said.
The more than 200 doctors are also demanding remittance of another Sh70 million statutory deductions withheld by the university.
KMPDU has also petitioned Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to intervene in the row and ensure the university pays out what the lecturers are demanding.
“In fact we have demanded that the vice chancellor of Moi university should be removed to stop him presiding over collapse of this once beacon of higher education in this country,” Dr Atella said.
He said the university was in a terrible state with no taking learning place as all its operations had collapsed.
Leader of medical students Jin Rayan Wandia said their studies had been disrupted frequently and, that due to the unending problems, most of them were unable to complete their courses and graduate.
“Currently I am a fifth year medical student, but I am now on my eighth year of studies and, with what we are going through, we may still spend more years here,” Wandia said.
The medical school has more than 200 students who complain that they are now idling at the institution because of the strike.
(edited by Amol Awuor)