Lecturers at Moi University School of Medicine vow to continue with strike

The lecturers blame the Moi University management for failing to address their grievances. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Lecturers at Moi University’s School of Medicine have vowed to continue with their strike until their demands are met.

The lecturers, who are on their 42nd day of strike, have blamed the Moi University management for failing to address their grievances.

Led by Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) branch chair Dr Darwin Ambuka, they said the silence by management is an injustice to lecturers, who are its employees and students who expect to complete their studies.  

Dr Ambuka said no amount of intimidation will make them bow to pressure “because we have clear objectives of our strike as we stipulated in our strike notice.”

The lecturers on November 28, 2021, downed their tools over delayed payment of enhanced clinical allowances amounting to more than Sh50 million.

The lecturers, who are also doctors operating at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, have also decried lack of promotions, understaffing and non-remittance of statutory and third party deductions.

They have vowed that they will not resume their duties until their demands are met in full.

Further, they also argued that doctors working at the College of Health Sciences had been excluded from receiving clinical allowances since 2017.

Through their union, the lecturers said the Moi University management had ignored their concerns despite several engagements.  

Dr Kamonzi Mulei, the KMPDU North Rift branch secretary, said the lecturers had resolved to stay away from classes until their concerns are addressed.

“The KMPDU signed a CBA with the government in a return-to-work formula following the 2016 strike, providing the doctors with enhanced clinical and risk allowances. The monies were released and all the other universities have paid their staff, save for the Moi University. We are now wondering why our university claims it has not received the money yet,” said Dr Mulei.

He claimed that the university was “using the legal process as a way of denying the lecturers their rights, as was the case with our 2019 strike, which they obtained a court order to bar us from strike.”

A court reconciliation process pending in court since 2019 was to address the stand-off between the management and its employees and the issue of payment.

Dr Mulei added that the medical students who have been in school for more than the stipulated time have suffered more, with their studies badly hurt by the strike.