The Council of Governors has now said they are committed to negotiate all the outstanding issues with striking doctors a day after the doctors’ union officials were sentenced to 30 days in jail.
However, CoG chairman Peter Munya asked doctors to reconsider their hardline stance on the full implementation of the controversial Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and instead negotiate in good faith to end the healthcare crisis in public hospitals.
“The Council of Governors is following the unfortunate development for the last 24 hours. The constitution guarantee the right to healthcare. We are committed to negotiate on any outstanding issues. The only way is for them to respect court decision and call off the strike and come to the table.” Munya said
He argued that although people may disagree with court decisions, the same must be respected.
“Many people have died. Rights do not operate in a vacuum and neither are the rights also limitless. If we create a room for disregard of the rule of law, the only alternative is anarchy and that is what we don’t want.” The Meru governor added.
He was flanked by Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and his Tharaka Nithi counterpart Samuel Ragwa Mbae.
Judge Hellen Wasilwa sentenced union officials to one month in jail after they failed to reach an agreement and call off medics strike as directed
She said that she could not delay further the contempt of court sentence that had been suspended earlier on condition the doctors cancel their strike.
The seven officials, Samuel Oroko, Fredrick Oluga, Titus Ondoro, Allan Ochanji, Hamisi Chibanzi, Daisy Korir and Evelyne Chege were jailed for a month for failing to call off a strike by the country’s doctors that has crippled public hospitals for 72 days.
The council said the demand by the union to have the CBA implemented in full as unrealistic.
The Kenyan Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist’ Union said it has called off all communications with government until their officials are released.