CORD leader Raila Odinga has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to honour his government’s agreement with doctors in 2013, instead of playing ping pong with the issue.
Speaking outside the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal ordered the release of jailed Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials, Raila said that it was preposterous for the government to renege on a deal it entered with the doctors in 2013.
“It is deceptive for the government to claim that it cannot afford to implement the deal when billions of shillings have been stolen; from NYS to Eurobond to the recent Ministry of Health scandal. What the doctors are asking for cannot exceed Ksh10 billion.
“The government willingly entered the deal and it is therefore time for them to pay up. You (Uhuru) made your bed and now you must lie on it,” he said.
Earlier, CORD leader Raila Odinga was in court together with Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and other Opposition leaders as Siaya Senator James Orengo led a legal team to appeal against the jailing of KMPDU officials.
The seven officials were jailed on Monday for allegedly being in contempt of the court after they failed to call off the strike.
Last week, Judge Hellen Wasilwa had suspended their jail term and directed Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli to lead negotiations to bring an end to the strike, but the talks did not bear fruit.
The officials – Samuel Oroko, Fredrick Oluga, Titus Ondoro, Allan Ochanji, Hamisi Chibanzi, Daisy Korir and Evelyne Chege – stressed that they would not relent in the fight for the implementation of the 2013 Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) even if they are arrested.
In the ruling, Court of Appeal ordered that KMPDU leaders be released and negotiations led by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) kick off to end the impasse that is in its 71st day.
On Wednesday, doctors from private hospitals made true their threats to join the strike for 48 hours in solidarity with the jailed officials.