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Court hands doctors 2 more days for mediations as clergy intervene to end impasse

Earlier, the Law Society of Kenya asked that they be allowed to bring in Cardinal John Njue and Anglican Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit.

 
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In a mention case today, the Court of Appeal has granted two more days to finalise on the talks to resolve the impasse, now led by the Inter-religious Council of Kenya.

The mention of the similar case will be done next week in Tuesday, a time the report will be presented the court said.

Earlier, the Law Society of Kenya asked that they be allowed to bring in Cardinal John Njue and Anglican Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit.

On Wednesday, senior counsel James Orengo said they reached an agreement but noted that the issues needed “the attention of religious leaders.”

"Give the religious leaders a chance and see whether they can help with the sticky issues," said Orengo.

Orengo is among the lawyers who Opposition leader Raila Odinga asked to appeal the one-month jail sentence doctors' union officials were to serve for contempt of court. The appeal lead to the release of seven officials from jail, a day after their sentence began.

Last week, Treasury CS Henry Rotich claimed doctors were stalling because they were receiving orders from individuals he did not identify.

Doctors downed their tools on December 5 last year saying theirs would be the longest strike in Kenya's history.

The union, which has about 5,000 members, wants the government to give doctors a 150 to 180 per cent rise in basic salaries, review working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions and address under-staffing in state hospitals.

Their demands are in line with a Collective Bargaining Agreements signed with the government in 2013.

Bounced talks

The doctors’ strike is expected to even take longer after the team leading negotiations encountered a hard rock as the government, once again, has been accused of failing to raise Sh8 Billion additional cash for doctors.

The failed talks had been postponed since Friday 23rd last week after a Court of Appeal extended time for the talks  by another seven days from last week.

The mediators last month said in a statement that the serial failures by the two sides would prompt them to instead draw up “an appropriate report” for the Court of Appeal in response to the earlier task, if the talks would collapse beyond February 28th.

Stop talks

Meanwhile, a consortium of the law students in Kenya, Law Students Society of Kenya (LSSK) moved to court on Wednesday in a bid to stop the mediation talks between the government and the doctor’s union.

The students have argued that the implementation of the CBA 2013 will unfairly treat the medical professional, way above other disciplines. They have argued that such a move will be discriminatory, contrary to the spirit and letter of the Kenyan Constitution that provides for equality of all persons under the law.

“A declaration that the ongoing negotiations between KMPDU and the government to implement the 2013 CBA are unlawful and unconstitutional,” reads the petition in part.

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