Appeal Court orders release of jailed Kenyan doctors' union officials

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Unions Secretary-General Ouma Oluga (right), Chairman Oroko Samuel (centre) and Nairobi branch Secretary-General Thuranira Kaugiria. Dr Oluga and Dr Oroko were among those jailed on February 13, 2017. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.  

The Court of Appeal on Wednesday set free Kenyan doctors' union officials who had been jailed earlier this week.

The three-judge bench ordered the immediate release of the seven leaders of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) sentenced to a one month term in prison on Monday.

The bench also ordered resumption of negotiations on return-to-work formula that is to be presented to the court next week Thursday, February 23.

The talks will be lead by the Law Society of Kenya and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNHCR).

Doctors downed their tools on December 5, last year to push the government to implement a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) they signed in 2013 that, among others, sought to improve their salaries and working conditions in public hospitals.

But the national government rejected the CBA, with county governors saying they were not involved in the 2013 deal yet they employ 80 per cent of doctors after the Health function was devolved.

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