Nurses scoff at Uhuru’s return-to-work order

Seth Panyako
Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary-General Seth Panyako issuing a press statement in Nairobi on February 12 2019. PHOTO| SILA KIPLAGAT 

Nurses have scoffed at the President’s order for them to return to work by tomorrow with union officials urging their members to stay put.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) secretary-general Seth Panyako told journalists he would not directly respond to President Uhuru Kenyatta even as he insisted the strike was “within the confines of the law.”

“I urge members to remain firm and fight for their rights. The strike is protected and if we decide otherwise it will be communicated,” he said.

The comments came hours after Mr Kenyatta asked the nurses to return to work by Friday morning warning that those who fail would be dismissed by both the Ministry of Health and the respective county governments.

He said it was unlawful for the nurses to continue with a strike that the Industrial Court has suspended for a period of 60 days. The nurses, he added, also risked being arrested should they decide to hold demonstrations or stand in the way of those who resume work.


The nurses walked from their stations to push for increased allowances. The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has rejected their push saying the country can’t afford the pay rise.