Top Stories / National
Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 16:12 EAT
CORD principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka this afternoon addressed striking doctors at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, just hours after the Court of Appeal ordered the release of their union representatives jailed for one month after failing to call off the strike. The leaders joined doctors who retreated to the park after the order by judges Wanjiru Karanja, Hannah Okwengu and Jamilla Mohamed.
Mr Odinga called for the formation of a commission to address health workers' concerns.He said the establishment of a commission was the only way their issues will be given the seriousness they deserve. "The health sector needs a body like the TSC or SRC to help deal with grievances like what we have experienced in the last two months," he said.
However, the leaders faced hostility from some in the crowd who kept shouting at them, urging that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka desit from talking politics in their address. First to speak was Mr Musyoka who started talking politics, seemingly taking advantage of the doctors' anger towards the government. He was unlucky as the hecklers began shouting, "no politics!" and chanted "CBA!" prompting him to tone down and give way to Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga, when he took the platform, tried the much he could to stay on track until one person reminded him not to play politics. The former PM thanked him and swiftly continued with his address encouraging CBA negotiations between the doctors and the government. He said the government and other stakeholders could have settled for negotiations.
The CORD boss reiterated that the jailing was a show of failure by the government, which he described as having been dishonest amid efforts to end the crisis that has left many dead and sick people frustrated. "The money the doctors are demanding, compared to what has been looted by the government, is peanuts. This shows you the lack of commitment and honesty by the government of the day," he told an enthusiastic crowd.