Nandi nurses turn heat on Panyako, call off strike

Nurses from Nandi County have called off their strike and turned their guns on union boss Seth Panyako accusing him of engaging in an illegality.

The Nandi County Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) branch while calling off the strike, advised its 500 members in the 194 health facilities to report back to work.

They claimed that the industrial action was illegally sanctioned by the secretary general Seth Panyako.

The union’s secretary in the region Amos Ng’etich said they decided to get back to work after reading malice in the move by Mr Panyako to “un-procedurally call for the strike without the ratification of the National governing council.”

“We are advising our members to resume duties latest Friday morning because we have read a sinister motive behind the call for this strike. The secretary general can’t superimpose his selfish decisions on us,” Mr Ng’etich told journalists at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital.

DISCIPLINARY ACTION

He also fired a warning on members who will defy the directive to get back to work saying they should be ready for disciplinary action from the county government since they will be penalised.

“The county public service board will be issuing letters of showing cause to any member who will defy this directive to get back to work since the strike is not legally protected,” said Mr Ng’etich.

He claimed the union officials were being blackmailed by Mr Panyako to engage in an illegality to gain political mileage at the expenses of nurses’ welfare.

“Our constitution is very clear on the procedures that the union must engage before sanction for a national strike. We cannot partake in a strike that is in itself illegal,” noted the secretary.

CONGESTED

But as nurses in Nandi County called off their strike, several private hospitals in many parts are running out of essential drugs due to the rising number of patients flocking the facilities seeking treatment.

Private hospitals in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kakamega and Bungoma have been hit by congestions due to the on-going nurses’ strike.

“We have ordered for more essential drugs to overcome with the challenge of more patients,” said Gerhard Schumacher, Medical director, Kapsowar Mission hospital in Elgeyo-Marakwet County.

It is similar situation in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia counties as the health services in public hospital remain paralysed.

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