June 2017 Dailynation;Kenyans will have to wait longer for nurses to resume work as divisions in the Kenya National Union of Nurses are complicating negotiations with the national and county governments.
On Friday, a press conference called by a faction of the union led by the embattled chairman John Bii was violently disrupted by that of the team led by Knun Secretary-General Seth Panyako on Friday.
Mr Bii had called a press conference at 10.30am at the Railway Club in Nairobi, ostensibly to end the strike, on day 12 today, and to update the 26,000 striking nurses that the government was willing to negotiate to end the impasse.
Mr Panyako, on the other hand, had called a briefing at Uchumi House but quickly left the city centre alongside other Knun officials to Railway Club, where Mr Bii was addressing reporters.
In the glare of cameras, the Panyako-led team kicked out Mr Bii and the handful of people from his faction who were attending the media briefing.
Short of punches and kicks, the nurses argued over who had the legitimacy to speak on behalf of the striking nurses and the presence of an armed police officer did not deter the two warring sides from abusing each other and pushing out Mr Bii from the venue that he had booked.
Acting chairman Joseph Ngwasi, who is in Panyako’s camp, in a competing match of shouting, said: “The strike is still on and Mr Bii does not represent the interests of nurses.”
The Council of Governors (COG) said it would take legal action against Mr Panyako for what it describes as “defamatory and scandalous statements”.
Mr Panyako, in a press conference on Friday, fingered five people as responsible for the nurses’ strike and the current impasse to end it.
COG said it would sue him on “the allegations levelled out against, H.E. Josphat Nanok, Chairman Council of Governors, H.E. James Ongwae Governor Kisii County, H.E. Jack Ranguma Mrs. Jacqueline Mogeni, CEO Council of Governors and family members and Mr Hosea Kiili CEO County Provident Fund (CPF).”
Governors have reiterated that the strike is illegal and nurses must return back to work and the union should resume the negotiations.