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Judge orders health workers’ union officials to appear in court over strike

The ongoing doctors and nurses strike has taken a new twist after the labour court directed that officials of health workers’ unions present themselves before it next week to explain why they should not be jailed for disobeying orders.

Employment and Labour Court Judge Hellen Wasilwa on Wednesday directed the OCS Kilimani police station to assist in having officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPPDU) and Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) appear in court next week when the case will be heard.

Justice Wasilwa issued the orders in an application filed by the Council of Governors (COG) which wants the officials of the two unions jailed for six months for not complying with last week’s orders that the strike be suspended until the case COG filed is heard.

“No one is above the law and it is essential that court orders are obeyed for maintenance of good order and the dignity of the court,” COG lawyers said.

The COG wants the ongoing doctors and nurses’ strike declared illegal on grounds that the unions have violated the labour laws.

The case will be heard on December 13.