The Tharaka-Nithi County government has attributed the ongoing strike by nurses to political rivalry. Speaking to Nation.co.ke on Tuesday, County Communication Director Douglas Kaunda claimed some politicians in the county met a section of the nurses’ union members in a hotel in Embu town to plan on the strike. “This is a politically motivated strike aimed at convincing the people of Tharaka-Nithi that Governor Samuel Ragwa is unable to run the county and not fit for re-election in 2017,” said Mr Kaunda. He said politicians are targeting the sensitive health sector to advance their political agenda aimed at ruining the reputation of Mr Ragwa.
Mr Kaunda said the county is among those that release salaries for its nurses on time to avoid inconveniences but the ‘corrupted’ union leaders come up with varied complains every time they plan a strike. “Since the county entered into an agreement on payment with the union, it has been releasing their salaries before or on 8th of every month,” he said. He called on the local politicians to refrain from inciting workers which interferes with service delivery to the people. The official said county workers whose salary was stopped and asked to submit their employment documents to a committee dealing with the matter are from all departments and not only from the health department as nurses claim. He added that the issue of promotion, pay slips, personal numbers and submission of statutory deductions have already been settled and cannot be listed as a reason for a strike. The nurses downed their tools on Monday and vowed to resume duty once they are all promoted, all pending statutory deductions are remitted and working conditions are improved.