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Jailing of doctors marks Jubilee’s lowest moment, declares Raila

Kenya medical practioners and dentist union officials being taken away to serve their jail term . 13/7/2017 PHOTO BY GEORGE NJUNGE

Opposition chief Raila Odinga yesterday said the jailing of doctors’ union officials marked the lowest point of the Jubilee administration.

Raila said the action by the Employment and Labour Relations Court to jail the Kenya Medical, Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) officials for failing to call off the strike, had horrified the Opposition.

The CORD leader said instead of solving the health sector crisis, the jailing of the officials shows that the Government as an employer is dishonest and unreliable.

“We are horrified, disturbed and shocked by the jailing of doctors’ union officials by the court earlier today for their refusal to call off a legitimate strike. The action marks the lowest point that Jubilee’s intransigence, incompetence and inability to lead has brought the nation to,” he said.

Raila challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to rise to the occasion and provide leadership in the myriads of issues facing the country.

But National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale claimed Raila is “perfecting the art of scapegoating, lamenting and blame game” as he detailed unsuccessful efforts by the Government to end the strike.

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“The President facilitated a meeting where an offer of 40 per cent increase on the gross total pay that would amount to Sh196, 444 was made,” Duale said.

 The jailing of doctors’ union officials triggered a nationwide condemnation by medics who threatened to paralyse health sector further until officials are released.

North Rift branch officials and Kenya Medical Association (KMA) yesterday vowed to close private hospitals and clinics in the country following the sentencing of the union officials.

Speaking in Nakuru, more than 100 members said they had hoped for mediation to resolve the stalemate and not jailing of the officials.

Story by MERCY KAHENDA, RAWLINGS OTIENO, MICHAEL OLLINGA and JOHN OYWA

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