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Doctors To Sue IG Koome Over Comments On Protests

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) on Monday said they had moved to court to sue the Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome, over his Sunday comments that protests by doctors and clinical officers are an inconvenience to the public.

Medics downed their tools on March 14 and have been protesting the government’s failure to post medical interns and obey a 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on doctors’ labour terms.

The IG issued a statement saying the protests have obstructed traffic flow on roads and even claimed that doctors have been taking to the streets without notifying the police officers in advance as required by the law.

KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah however dismissed the police boss’ comments as falsehoods meant to intimidate the doctors’ union to stop demonstrating.

“We’ve already proceeded to court against the defamatory action and statement issued yesterday. We will serve the IG regarding that,” Dr Atellah told a press conference in Nairobi.

As efforts by the government, through the Ministry of Health and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, to negotiate a return-to-work formula with medics remain unfruitful, the doctors accused the government of being the ones on strike and frustrating the discussions.

Atellah on Monday said they would return to the streets on Tuesday demos to go on and maintained that they had notified police about it.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Katiba Institute, the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and other CSOs are among other bodies which condmned IG Koome’s Sunday comments, in which he also told police across the country to quell the demos.

The bodies said doctors were practising their right to picket and told the police boss to apologise by 6 pm Sunday, failure to which they would sue him.



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