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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,16TH OCT,2020-The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) on Friday warned that medical students at the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences who are in their final year may fail to graduate in December as a strike by health science lecturers persists.
Health science lecturers withdrew their teaching services last month, after the University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Kiama stopped the payment of lecturers’ clinical allowances.
The union said the lecturers will only resume services after the allowances are reinstated.
UASU Deputy Secretary General Mutuura Mberia said Kiama’s move is ill-advised. He accused him of sabotaging the institution.
Mutuura noted that the strike has led to a lot of devastation, especially to students who were anticipating graduating at the end of this year.
“It seems that the VC has chosen a war path with doctors by withdrawing the allowances and he is giving this institution a negative picture, if these students don’t graduate at the end of the year because of his actions it will be such a shame because it has never happened before,” he said.
Mutuura said the union is willing to hold talks with Prof Kiama whom he described as a ‘stone’, claiming he is not willing to engage in talks with the lecturers or even the students.
The lecturers have also threatened to march to the VC’s office after a seven-day notice lapses and eject him from office if he doesn’t cooperate and address their grievances.
The clinical allowances in question are paid to medical tutors to guide medical students in hands-on clinical sessions.
In solidarity with the lecturers, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union Chairman Samuel Oroko also called out Kiama saying his actions will disorient final year students who may not graduate, despite having paid fees.
“Graduating class of 2020 will not graduate because people who conduct the examination have not been paid and therefore can’t continue to offer the services,” said Oroko.