Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has softened her stance on sacking striking health workers in her county.
Waiguru, who has issued several ultimatums saying the medics were in contempt of court, now wants them to return to work without reprisals.
“The public has already been exposed to much suffering since they withdrew their services from public hospitals,” she said.
The health workers have until Friday noon to be at work to save their jobs.
In the 305-worded statement she sent to Standard Digital, no action is specified for those who report to work past the grace period.
She added that ‘political incitement had contributed to the challenges that had bedeviled the health sector’, asking the medics not to be used as pawns to advance personal and political ambitions.
The governor’s turnabout comes a day after Justice Nzioka Makau declared the medics’ strike illegal and gave Waiguru the go-ahead to replace them.
The Employment and Labour Relations judge noted that due process was not followed by the four unions in calling for the strike.
Noting that the medics had a CBA with the county, Makau ruled: “The disputes should have been referred to cabinet secretary for Labour to appoint a mediator. In this suit before me, due process was not followed in calling for the strike.”
The health workers went on strike on May 26 protesting the inefficiency of medical equipment at Kerugoya Referral Hospital.
They also said reagents for the laboratory tests had not been procured and their working conditions were poor.
Further, they wanted the county to reinstate the hospital’s 346 health casual workers who were sacked in a downsizing operation.