Drama as nurses union factions fight over office

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) National Chairman Joseph Ngwasi, Secretary General Seth Panyako, Deputy Secretary General Maurice Opetu and other Union members address a press conference in the past.Nurses have threatened to strike in 21 days PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: The Kenya National Union of Nurses factions on Friday almost exchanged blows after differences emerged over office bearer stand off.

Confusion emerged when a faction led by John Bii who alleged that he is the rightful chair of the union while the other faction led by the union secretary general Seth Panyako, stormed the meeting which was being addressed by Bii whom they accuse of masquerading as the office bearer.

The dispute was settled by police who intervened after bitter arguments occasioned by officials of the two groups.

Panyako accused Mr Bii of being used as a tool to sabotage the ongoing nurses strike for selfish gains.

He accused the council of governors’ chair of health committee James Ongwae, council of governors CEO Jackline Mogeni and Jack Ranguma as a stumbling block in signing of the nurses collective bargaining agreement.

Panyako said that the allowances worth sh. 15,000 for each nurse was paid in the month of January and the wiring of the allowances to the nurses was halted despite the delay of signing of the CBA which was due in the month of March this year.

He warned the health CS Dr Cleophas Mailu to stop running away from the striking problem and deal with it head on, to avert a stalemate in the health sector.

He insisted that health sector is a shared function between the national government and the county government and there is need for Mailu to chip in.

There has been a stand off between the council of governors and nurses union on the signing of the CBA .