Taita Taveta County Sends Home Health Workers

  • Health workers stage a peaceful protest
    Health workers stage a peaceful protest.
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  • Taita Taveta County on Wednesday, February 3, sent home over 400 workers in what the county official termed as illegal involvement in work boycott.  

    County Secretary Leverson Mghendi stated that the heath workers had failed to report to work without any valid reason.

    He noted that some of the nurses and clinical officers were claiming that they had a right to take part in the national wide strike, yet the strike had been called off.  

    Citing the Employment and Labour Court ruling of December 16, 2020, Mghendi argued that the heath workers had been ordered to go back to work, but the employees did not heed.  

    Nurses protest outside Afya House in Nairobi during a nationwide strike on September 11, 2017.
    Nurses protest outside Afya House in Nairobi during a nationwide strike on September 11, 2017.
    Daily Nation

    The nurses have been given until Friday, February  5, to clear with their employer.  

    Secretary General of Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, George Gibore, confirmed knowledge of what was happening in Taita Taveta County. He, however, argued that the specific case the County Secretary was  referencing was still active in court, and therefore there was no reason to send the workers home.  

    "The government of Taita Taveta cannot associate themselves with a matter that they are not party to. Neither have they asked to be interested part to or enjoined in this matter," stated Gibore.  

    He noted that this was not the first time the county was alleging to be firing workers for engaging in a illegal strike, adding that they had moved to court to block hiring of new health workers.  

    On January 12, Taita-Taveta County sacked over 500 health workers under similar circumstances. Mghendi  justified the county’s action arguing that he had received complaints from concerned residents about the delayed heath service provision.  

    "Our people are suffering. I have received many distress messages from residents who are unable to get treatment. That is why we are working to ensure that services resume by next week," he said. 

    The fate of the over 400 health workers is yet to be determined.  

    A section of nurses strike, demanding better pay
    A section of nurses strike, demanding better pay
    Daily Nation