Tue. May 28th, 2024

A group of civil and human rights groups in Kenya have demanded for an apology from the country’s police chief, after he vowed to take action against striking health workers.

Public hospital doctors from the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have been striking for just over a month, citing grievances like the non-payment of salary arrears and delays by the government to deploy medical interns.

Clinical officers – who are less qualified than doctors but have similar responsibilities – have also walked out.

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome on Sunday accused the health workers of being “a public nuisance” by blocking roads and blowing whistles during demonstrations, “thus causing discomfort to patients in hospital and the general public”.

“We have information that non-medics with the intention to cause havoc and terror to the public intend to join the ongoing processions, a move that poses a threat to public safety and security,” he said, adding that the police “have been instructed to deal with such situations firmly and decisively”.

KMPDU and eight civil and human rights groups demanded that Mr Koome retract and apologise for his statements or they would pursue legal action against him.

They also pledged to hold Mr Koome personally liable for any harm that befalls picketing and protesting health workers.

By Joy

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