Court of Appeal releases jailed KPMDU officials

KMPDU Chairman Samuel Oroko and Secretary-General Ouma Oluga. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: The Court of Appeal has ordered for the release of the 7 Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union KMPDU officials.

The court on Wednesday gave the striking doctors seven days to solve the stalemate.

The officials were ordered to serve a one-month jail term on Monday after the High Court found them guilty of contempt of court in relation to the strike which started on December 4th.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa on Monday jailed the officials when they failed to comply with the court’s conditions.

Affected officials are Chairman Samuel Oroko and Secretary General Ouma Oluga while other officials being Daisy Korir, Evelyne Chege, Allan Ochanji, Mwachonda Chibandzi and Titus Ondoro.

Negotiations are therefore expected to resume promptly with the Law Society of Kenya LSK and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission KNCHR expected to lead the dialogue.

The doctors strike that has entered its 73rd day has paralyzed services in the public health sector.

On Tuesday, the  Kenya Medical Association vowed to shut down private clinics for 48 hours  effective Wednesday midnight unless the seven jailed officials were released unconditionally.

Earlier, Atwoli had offered to lead negotiations, together with Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), between the government and union officials but confessed that he had failed to resolve the impasse’ citing , alleged infighting between Health Permanent Secretary Nicholas Muraguri and his boss Cabinet secretary Cleopa Mailu.