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Give us more time, doctors demand

By Killiad Msafiri | February 13th 2017
The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacist and Dentists Union through their lawyers have pleaded to be awarded more time to draw a return to work formula in a hearing at the Milimani Law Courts today.

The union lawyers together with those from Kenya National Commission on Human Rights stressed that they have been working around the clock to bring the mediation talks to fruition.

This comes only a day after COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli, who had requested for a week to lead negotiations conceded defeat in the mediation talks citing differences between the Health CS and PS as stumbling blocks.

 Defending themselves in the contempt hearing, the lawyers warned that any jail term passed to the union officials might jeopardize the already ongoing negotiations.

The union instead requested for a 7-day timeline to finalize an agreement that will resolve the industrial action.

Judge Hellen Wasilwa who was under pressure from the government lawyers to pass a contempt of court ruling ordered the union to give documentation showing the progress in the negotiations but the lawyers said they could not produce the drafts before the court at the moment.
 Judge Wasilwa ruled that negotiations to end the strike may proceed but sentenced the Union officials for a one-month jail term for contempt of court charges.

Meanwhile, the doctors' union leaders have been jailed for failing to lobby their members to return work as they were asked by the judge.
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