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Court stops Kemsa from engaging military, NYS

By Mercy Kahenda | November 9th 2021

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi has stopped the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority from enlisting the military and National Youth Service from overseeing its operations, pending the hearing of a case filed by the doctors union.

Justice Ocharo Kebira also stopped Kemsa from declaring redundant or terminating services of its staff in a case filed by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, Dentists Union (KMPDU).

“A conservatory order is issued restricting the respondent from declaring redundant or terminating the services of first respondents (Kemsa) members of staff and enlisting or employing active members of KDF and NYS to take up position occupied by those members pending the hearing and determination of application inter partes,” Justice Kebira ruled.

KMPDU, through its secretary general Davji Atellah, moved to court to stop the impending take-over of the agency in an apparent restructuring and reforms.

The union has also sued Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, and Labour CS Simon Chelugui.

KMPDU, through its lawyer Henry Kurauka, filed an urgent application at a time when 900 employees at the authority have been sent to work from home for 30 days.

They argued that Kemsa plays a critical role in providing human resource capacity towards the realization of Universal Health Care (UHC).

“The respondents have threatened to unilaterally undertake mass sacking of the first respondent’s members of staff.

In the petition, the union argued that Kemsa is not in a state of emergency to have it manned by KDF, and that the government breached Article 241 of the constitution.

Justice Kebira certified the case as urgent and directed the union to serve the respondents before hearing on November 16.

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