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'This is your last chance'- KNUN to Senate over revenue standoff

Reproductive Health - By Betty Njeru
KNUN Secretary-General Seth Panyako. [Stafford Ondego/Standard]

The Kenya National Union of Nurses has asked health workers who are yet to receive salaries to remain at home and not report to work until they are paid.

‘’Kama hujalipwa mshahara, kaa chini (Stay home if you haven’t been paid),” a riled Seth Panyako, KNUN Secretary-General said.

The union leaders together with Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) officials were responding to the resolve by the Council of Governors yesterday to shut down key county services over the revenue allocation impasse.

“We cannot allow reduction of funds for any County. That is the highest irresponsible action from the National Government,” he said.

Panyako pointed accusatory fingers at both the Senate and the National Assembly, saying that they have failed Kenyans because they have refused to come up with laws.

“Stop blaming the National Treasury, you are equally liable,” he said, alluding to Senators remarks yesterday who maintained that the "heart" of the counties cash crunch lies with the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, who is yet to release 50 per cent of the revenue as advised by the Supreme Court advisory of 2013 on the Division of Revenue standoff, the Constitution and the subsidiary law and regulations.

Panyako also claimed that while Kenyans are wallowing in poverty and denied access to quality healthcare services, the senators are out relaxing and earning from this impasse.

“The blood of those who have died in this country shall haunt you. It is on your hands,” he said addressing the lawmakers.

His sentiments were echoed by both the KMPDU Chair and Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda, asking health workers not to report to work.

“The county governments have shown us one thing. No pay, no work,” KMPDU chairman Samuel Oroko said.

“Why should we suffer so much? it is not the first time that county governments have delayed salaries and remitted allowances. Let them stop lying,” Mwachonda posed.

On Wednesday, Council of Governors Chair Wycliffe Oparanya communicated to his colleagues that county health facilities should not permit any new inpatient admissions but only handle emergencies.

“County health facilities will not permit any new inpatient admissions. They will only provide minimal outpatient services," he said in a statement.

“All non-essential services are hereby suspended and county employees are advised to proceed on leave. In the meantime, CoG will continue to push for the speedy release of funds,” he said.

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