Raila instructs his lawyers to take up doctors’ defence case against government

Through a statement shortly after seven Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) were sentenced to one month in jail for contempt of court, Raila said he was shocked by the ruling.

Raila Odinga has instructed his lawyers to immediately convene and take up the doctor’s case against the government.

Through a statement shortly after seven Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) were sentenced to one month in jail for contempt of court, Raila said he was shocked by the ruling.

He said that the action marks the lowest point that the Jubilee administration’s incompetence and inability to lead has brought the nation to.

“Rather than resolve the crisis in the health sector, the jailing of union officials deepens it and sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It marks out the government as a dishonest and unreliable employer whose word, even in writing count for nothing,” Raila said.

He termed the idea that the courts are now the entities to resolve disputes between employers and employees as dangerous and disturbing citing also the current lecturers’ strike.

“It goes against the constitutionally-protected right of workers to withhold labour when they are in disagreement with the employer and especially when the employer in this case the government, is reneging on an agreement,” Raila said.

Hostage taking

Raila compared the government’s move to “hostage taking” and said the government was unable to lead and negotiate.

He said the government spurned all the opportunities the court had created to resolve the stalemate and instead took advantage of the suspended sentence to blackmail the doctors.

He also cited infighting in the Ministry of Health between Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and Principal Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri, which he said was the reason COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli abandoned his mediation role, as a contributing factor in the stalemate.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta has spent the last four years trying to avoid the problems facing Kenyans. The President has spent the four years assigning blame and avoiding responsibility. If the president cannot rise to the challenge of leadership, then, for the good of the nation, he must own up and let Kenyans know they are on their own,” Raila said.

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