Playing a dead horse at a funeral: Manchurian Candidate

Doctors strike

Doctors protest in Nairobi on March 22, 2024.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • CS Nakhumicha should cease and desist from engaging on technical labour matters.
  • Doctors remain focused on having a functional and resilient public healthcare system.

It is the 20th day of the national doctors' strike and still counting. In the last few weeks, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Nakhumicha Wafula, has continued to demonstrate how to confidently stray from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection mandates.

Labour and livelihoods matters are not matters to be taken trivially as it has been played out in the public domain. From an industrial and employment relations angle, it is absolutely insensible and insensitive for senior government officials, to speak carelessly and casually about how the Government of Kenya will use its machinery to undermine and violate the rule of law, principles of decent and dignified work.

Any honourable government ought and should operate to promote fair labour relations, promote collective bargaining and apply collective bargaining agreements as per the International Labour Organization standards and the domestic Kenyan law.

Speech is silver, silence is golden. This is an adage that comes in a solution in reducing intensification of the current Doctors-Employers dispute. Scripturally, Proverbs 10:19 states that, “in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, but they that refraineth their lips is wise”.  

Who shall speak truth to power? An exemplary public display of ignorance and ineptitude in labour matters from those in leadership certainly deserves a rebuttal. 

Unfortunate comments

Unfortunate comments were made at a funeral, it could have been in private or official capacity or both circumstances were badly conjoined in this coincidental instance. Why at a funeral? Was it perhaps to symbolize the burial of the Kenyan Public Healthcare System? Time will tell.

From a ‘wife's doctor’ (sic) perspective, these pronouncements can only be summed up as nonsense on stilts in industrial and employment relations.

Kenyans deserve an apology and withdrawal of the unfortunate sleazy comments on the altar of indignification and undervaluation of doctors' work and worth through the lack of self-restraint and logorrhea from the Cabinet Secretary.

All Kenyans deserve Decent and Dignified Work.

The unhonorable Cabinet Secretary should cease and desist from engaging on technical labour matters and instead focus on Kemsa props and MoH seminar launches which require basic and effortless public relations.

Functional healthcare system

Kenya has not had professional staffing standards in the last 60 years in the health sector and this is one of many reasons why their current strike is in protraction.

Malfeasance and nonfeasance by government officials in the management of human resources for healthcare standards have weakened and made the public healthcare system dysfunctional.

As the Doctors union, KMPDU, we want to assure our fellow Kenyans that doctors remain focused in solidarity, focused on having a functional and resilient public healthcare system, focused on fighting for and protecting good faith negotiations in matters labour relations, focused on predictable binding and trust-based engagements on collective bargaining in the promotion of the right to healthcare for all Kenyans.

Doctors shall continue to speak up as long as the government officials have shamefully chosen to focus on 2027 votes hunting, politicking, and abandoned Kenyans' healthcare matters.

Doctors stand united. They are not cowering, they are not wavering for there is no peace or happiness for mankind until we have a government that believes it is the guardian and defender of every human right.

May God Bless KMPDU!

Dr Mundia is a lawyer, labour relations practitioner, professional mediator, maxillofacial surgeon and Deputy National Chairperson of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU)