President Kenyatta warns defiant doctors

President Kenyatta addresses the participants at the 4th Devolution conference in Naivasha/PSCU

BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,7TH MARCH 2017-President Uhuru Kenyatta has strongly warned striking doctors  that it will not be business as usual should the ongoing talks being facilitated by religious leaders aimed at ending the strike will fail.

Speaking while opening the 4th Annual Devolution Conference in Nakuru Tuesday , President Kenyatta stated that the resolution of the dispute cannot come at the expense of fairness to other Kenyans.

 The Head of State emphasised that the government shall not succumb to coercion.

“We will not succumb to threats and intimidation. Do these doctors think we are that stupid? You only work for two hours in government facilities and then run to your private clinics!” he stated.

“We have offered you better salaries than those in private hospitals. Medical interns in government hospitals will earn more than what doctors at Aga Khan, Nairobi and Mater Hospitals earn,” he indicated.

He ephasized  that should the ongoing talks being mediated by religious leaders fail, action shall be taken against the doctors.

“I can assure you, if the ongoing talks spearheaded by the religious leaders fail, we will take action. We will sort you out. This is blackmail,” he stated.

The president sentiments comes as the Doctors strike entered 93rd day .

 President Kenyatta on Monday held talks with three Governors and members of the Inter religious Forum until 1am to try and break the deadlock according to sources.

The  Court  of appeal early Tuesday   gave the parties more time to reach an agreement and  set a mention date for Monday.

Religious leaders who on March 2 were allowed to participate in the negotiations reported back to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that while, in their view, the stumbling blocks to a resolution had been moved out of the way, it was now up to the parties involved to carry the ball the rest of the way to the finish line.

And as though to wash their hands of the whole affair were keen to make the point that, “we that religious leaders here below signed believe that we have delivered on our mandate. We therefore leave the matter to the court discretion for further directions.”

There was indeed talk of just off-white smoke from the parties on Tuesday whose main point of contention it appeared, was the order of documents to be signed.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union through lawyer Philip Murgor made it clear that they would not call off their strike until a Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed. “That is the contractual agreement.”

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