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We won't forgive nurses on strike, vows Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy RAEL JELIMO | Mon,May 16 2016 08:21:39 EAT
By RAEL JELIMO | Mon,May 16 2016 08:21:39 EAT

 Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat

Over 170 nurses are to lose their jobs for taking part in a health workers' strike.

Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat said his administration will stick by its decision to terminate the nurses' services.

The Nandi governor's stand comes as the health workers resumed duty after staging a five-week strike that paralysed health care services in 196 institutions.

Speaking at Kipsamo Primary School during a funds drive, Mr Lagat said the nurses would not be let off the hook for the 'amount of suffering' they subjected the residents to.

He said the process to terminate their services was in its final stage. The governor hopes to replace the nurses immediately.

"We are in the final stages of replacing the 173 nurses with new workers. The county will not forgive them for the suffering that the residents underwent during the five-week strike," he said.

The county administration has already struck the nurses off the payroll and returned their files to the national government for deployment, terming them 'unco-operative'.

But Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Nandi branch Secretary General Amos Ng'etich accused the governor of contempt of court and said the Employment and Labour Relations Court had ordered the workers to return to work without victimisation.

The Nakuru court, which suspended the strike for three weeks pending a ruling on May 24, further ordered the two parties to hold dialogue.

"It is unfortunate the county administration has been acting in contempt of court first by terminating the services of 173 nurses, then by denying them their April salaries. The county is sabotaging dialogue efforts," he said.

Even as the hospitals re-opened, the health crisis seemed far from over as the Senate Committee on Health summoned the county health officials to explain the reasons behind declining health services.

Health Executive Mathew Rotich and two other officials were to appear before the senators to explain the county's deteriorating health sector.

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