Panyako urges nurses to fight for their rights

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Nurses Union Secretary General Seth Panyako
Nurses Union Secretary General Seth Panyako

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako has urged nurses to remain firm and fight for their rights, even after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the nurses to call off the strike and return to work by Friday morning. Speaking shortly after the President’s address at State House, Panyako said the strike is still on in various Counties and that the Constitution of Kenya under Article 41 provides that every worker has the right to go on strike, “The strike is properly protected. If there is anything otherwise, we’ll advise our members properly,” he said.

President Kenyatta had faulted the nurses for disobeying the Employment and Labour Relations Court order that had called for an end to the strike that started on 4th February to pave the way for talks between the nurses and the two levels of government, saying that no one is above the law, but the KNUN Secretary-General said they obey the law, citing the case of the Kitui County, “The Kitui Public Service Board received a Court order suspending the strike and we went ahead and suspended the strike because we must respect Court orders,” said Panyako. He further declined to comment on the President’s order.

He said that Counties that have paid the nurses allowances as earlier agreed are Migori, Machakos, Kwale, Nairobi, Mombasa and Vihiga. He said that there are Counties which have not received any strike notice owing to the commitment made to members to effect payment, however, he said if non-payments will be made by the end of this month, they’ll receive strike notices. The Counties are Baringo, Laikipia, Meru, Bungoma, Nyamira, Kajiado, Kilifi, Lamu, Nandi, and Turkana.