BREAKING: Doctors’ union officials jailed for contempt of court

BREAKING: Doctors’ union officials jailed for contempt of court
  • KMPDU officials to serve 30-day jail sentence
  • Labour Court judge Hellen Wasilwa says union officials adequately failed to show why they should not serve their sentences
  • Wasilwa insists negotiations to end the medics’ strike must continue in the absence of the union representatives

Officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have today been ordered to serve a month jail term for contempt of court. The seven doctors’ union representatives will spend time behind bars for 30 days after the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Monday, February 13 upheld the suspended sentence issued against them on January 12.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa today said that her ruling was necessitated by the medics’ failure to call off their industrial boycott that is now in its 71st day.

"It is this court’s finding that there is no sufficient reason why the court should review its order and therefore it declines to review it,"

Justice Wasilwa ruled.

Justice Wasilwa added that the doctors did not demonstrate why they failed to call off the strike which was a condition for the sentence.

She however clarified that negotiations to end the strike would continue even with the KMPDU officials’ absence.

"Negotiations may proceed and the Court of Appeal may make any other determination on the case,"

she added as she gave a window to the officials to challenge her ruling at the higher court.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa

READ ALSO: Why I am unable to end the Doctors strike-Atwoli speaks

The KMPDU officials appearing before the court for the fourth time pleaded with Justice Wasiwa to give them more room to negotiate with the government to end the strike.

"We request the court to grant us seven more days to resolve the industrial action to finalise small details, "

argued KMPDU lawyer Lempaa Suyianka.

They said that jailing the officials would only serve to aggravate an already worse situation and likely cause them personal pain.

"It is not in our interest to jeopardise any progress made and we expect to come up with a return to work formula by next week,"

the lawyer added.

The KMPDU officials after the ruling at the Milimani Law Courts

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