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February 20, 2018

Nurses want union officials charged for ignoring order to call off strike

Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako during the Nurses Press briefing in Nairobi on June16,2017.
PHOTO/ENOS TECHE.
Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako during the Nurses Press briefing in Nairobi on June16,2017. PHOTO/ENOS TECHE.

 A section of nurses want some of their national officials charged with disobeying court orders after they refused to call off their illegal strike by Friday last week. 

The nurses have been on strike for 102 days now, surpassing the doctors strike which lasted 100 days until March.

 However, unlike doctors, the nurses have been drawing their full salaries until governors stopped the payments last week. 

Labour Court judge Hellen Wasilwa had ordered secretary general Seth Panyako (pictured) to call off the strike by end of last week. 

She said the illegal strike has frustrated negotiations with the government and warned officials they will be punished if they disobey her orders.

The strike has split the Kenya Nurses Union of Nurses with some members supporting Panyako’s stand that the strike should continue. 

Others led by chairman John Bii favour negotiations instead of strike.

 The pro-negotiations nurses said they are consulting with their lawyers but would definitely seek contempt charges against the dissenting officials.

 “Even the President obeyed the Supreme Court ruling, even though he did not agree with it. The dissenting officials should have appealed the court ruling instead of disobeying it,” Bii told the Star yesterday.

Justice Wasilwa’s orders were directed at Panyako, his deputy Maurice Opetu, treasurer Agnes Munderu and other union officers Joseph Ngwassi and Asha Ali.

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