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Medics have become a public nuisance- IG Japhet Koome's instructions to police on demos

The Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome issued firm instructions to police as the strike by medics heads into the fifth week

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome

The Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome has broken his silence on the ongoing strike by medics that is into the fifth week, maintaining that medics are now a public nuisance who will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

IG Koome noted that the doctors and clinical officers participating in the strike have been an inconvenience to the public as

He claimed that the striking medics have been lying on the streets, interrupting the flow of traffic and movement of pedestrians during their demos.

He noted that in blatant violation of existing laws, the striking doctors have engaged in public demonstrations without notifying police officers, contrary to what the law outlines.

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IG Koome also noted that the demos have been characterized by blowing of whistles and vuvuzelas which are a great inconvenience to patients in hospitals as well as the general public.

“The medics have become a public nuisance, blowing whistles and vuvuzelas during the demonstrations thus causing discomfort to patients in hospitals and general public,” the IG stated.

Instructions to police to act firmly

He made it clear that all demos should be conducted in accordance with the law as any act that infringes on the rights of others will not be condoned with [police instructed to with such situations firmly.

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“In the interest of national security therefore, all respective Police Commanders have been instructed to deal with such situations firmly and decisively in accordance with the law. We wish to caution all doctors to refrain from infringing on the rights of others while demonstrating, and that their efforts to disrupt smooth operations of hospitals will not be tolerated,” Koome added.

More than a month into the doctor’s strike during which more than 500 lives have been lost, there is no end in sight for the crisis that has brought operations at public health facilities to a grinding halt.

The demands tabled by the doctors have been summarily dismissed by the government as unrealistic.

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An attempt by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, to negotiate a return to work formula with medics failed with Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) rejecting the government’s return-to work proposal.

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