Nurses tell off Kiraithe, accuse him of politicizing strike

Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) chairman Joseph Ngwasi has dismissed claims by government spokesperson Eric Kiraithe that the ongoing nurse’ strike was politically instigated.

Addressing the media at Chuka County Referral Hospital in Tharaka-Nithi County on Wednesday, Mr Ngwasi said the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations started early last year and the government could not politicize their rights.

Mr Ngwasi said the union was not taking any order or directive from politicians allied to the Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa).

He said that is the reason why they relived their former secretary general Seth Panyako to allow him to pursue his political ambitions to becoming the next Kakamega senator.

“We are demanding our rights as a union and we are not inclined to any political side,” said Mr Ngwasi.

REGISTER DEAL

He lamented that the government has not shown interest in addressing the matter to end the strike that entered its 31st day on Wednesday.

The unionist however maintained that they will not relent on the push for the registration of the CBA that they negotiated with the Council of Governors.

“If government thinks that were are striking because it is campaign period, we are ready to resume duty even if it means a time like now next year,” he said.

Mr Ngwasi however expressed concern that the effect of the strike was far reaching as new-born babies were not getting immunizations posing a great risk to their lives.

The official asked nurses to stay put and dismiss any call by county or national government to end the strike before their demands are met.

The CBA gives them Sh40 billion in allowances over four years, but has been rejected by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission as “too expensive”.

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