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KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga (right) among other union officials in a past press briefing/FILE PHOTO
BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,20TH,DEC,2016-The Labour court has found doctors’ union officials guilty of contempt for refusing to suspend their strike as ordered.
Justice Hellen Wasilwa on Tuesday said top officials of Kenya Medical, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) disobeyed the court when they called the national job boycott on December 5.
The court had on December 1 ordered the union to put off the industrial action for 30 days to allow room for talks.
The judgement follows a case filed by the Council of Governors who had asked the court to throw KMPDU bosses into prison.
The doctors’ industrial action, which entered its third week on Monday, has paralysed service delivery at public hospitals across the country.
Talks between the union, county and national government collapsed and sick Kenyans have been left to their own devices.
Judge Wasilwa, however, did not sentence the officials immediately.
She ordered them to appear before the court’s duty judge on Thursday for further directions on punishment.
The officials risk a six months in prison or a fine that will be determined by the court.
According to the judge, punishment to those who disobey court orders is not meant to give a judge or anyone else credibility but restore the dignity of the rule of law.
But KMPDU bosses’ lawyer immediately requested the court to have them appeal against the verdict.
Judge Wasilwa allowed them to do so.