Nakuru nurses agree to settle contracts case out of court


Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika when she appeared before the Senate Committee on Public Investments and Special Funds Committee at KICC, Nairobi on July 4, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Nurses who sued the county government of Nakuru after it declined to renew their contracts have agreed to settle the dispute out of court.

The contracts of the health workers ended on June 30 but Governor Susan Kihika's administration declined to renew them, prompting the nurses to sue the county government.

On Thursday, the court heard that at least 21 of the 33 aggrieved nurses had already had their contracts renewed. The nurses moved to court last week challenging the county government's decision to release them. In the case, the nurses named the Chief Officer for medical services, Dr John Murima, as a respondent.

Other respondents were the Chief Officer for Public Health, the Director of Health, the Department of Health and the County Attorney General.

The 21 nurses have already withdrawn their petition that was before Senior Resident Magistrate Lina Akoth following renewal of their contracts. The rest have decided to negotiate with the county government and settle the matter outside court.

“We have decided to attempt an out-of-court negotiation,” said the nurses through John Muhia, who swore the affidavit on their behalf.

In their application, the nurses said they were employed by the health department in 2022 under three-year contracts subject to renewal.

They said after their contract expired on April 24, 2023, the county renewed them for three months but also posted a letter to employ other nurses, contrary to a promise Governor Kihika had made to them.

In response, Dr Murima said all nurses were subjected to performance appraisal, adding that three of the complainants are not in the database, while 21 have been retained.

Murima said the application had been overtaken by events as the recruitment process had ended.