Doctors’ union officials will know their fate on 3rd February, on Friday, according to Labour Relations Court Judge Hellen Wasilwa. Union officials presented themselves before the Milimani based court after the expiration of the January 30 negotiations deadline.
The court had issued a 5-day extension to the Kenya Medical and Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) bosses to allow talks with the government or call off the strike, failure to which they could face a one-month jail term.
The two sides failed to come up with an amicable solution even after the expiry of the two-week suspension. Addressing the court earlier, doctors requested the court to allow them to make an application for the suspension of the jail term arguing that return to work talks would grind to a halt if their officials are jailed.
On the other hand, the Council of Governors asked the court to ignore the doctors’ petition citing that the union officials were in contempt of court as they failed to implement the court order and call off the strike. If the court is to decline the doctor’s application by Friday, Union officials could find themselves behind bars.
Doctors downed their tools on December 5th 2016, saying that the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement that they struck with the government should be implemented. They have vowed to back their bosses in the event that they are jailed by the Labour courts.
In the afternoon they took their protest to parliament buildings where they took their petitions. Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi addressed them saying they will look at their matter and address it in the parliament.