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Raila pleads with nurses to go back to work

Former Prime Minister RailaOdinga has pleaded with nurses across the country to resume duty for the sake of suffering patients.

Speaking during a funeral ceremony in Samia Sub County on Saturday, Raila said all parties in the dispute need to consider the option of an amicable solution for the ongoing strike.

“The County and National governments should sit down and find a lasting solution to enable the country function smoothly,” he said adding chest thumping is uncalled for.

He pleaded with the nurses to report to duty on Monday adding that the union officials should adopt a reconciliatory approach to the issue.

Meanwhile, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli faulted Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya for ordering nurses to go back to work.

Atwoli argued that Oparanya should have consulted him on the workers’ issues instead of displaying ignorance on national television.

He argued that the Council of Governors signedCollective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) with the nurses and they need to honor the same.

“If you realize that you do not have money and you owe someone, just go back to them and explain to the modalities of payment even if it means paying in installments,” he said.

Atwoli further blamed Governor Oparanya and the Labour CS UkurYattani for misleading President Uhuru Kenyatta to believe that the nurses’ strike was illegal.

“They left President Uhuru Kenyatta to read a speech on petty issues,” he said arguing that the president means well for the country and should not be made to carry out tasks meant for shop stewards.

Early last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the nurses to resume duty by February 15, warning that those who failed to do so risked being sacked.

A number of nurses from various counties have however defied the presidential order to return to work leaving patients in public health facilities to suffer.

A meeting planned by Busia County government scheduled for Saturday morning aborted when the nurses’ union officials failed to turn up.

The union officials issued the County government with a strike notice to commence on Monday, February 18.

By Salome Alwanda

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