Probe ordered into reports of intimidation of Nakuru health workers not on strike

Wednesday December 7 2016

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha (right) speaks with county Health Minister Kabii Mungai and senior security officials after a closed door meeting on December 6, 2016. They resolved to offer security to nurses and doctors willing to work, among them, those recruited by the county government after health workers went on strike. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha has ordered investigations into the alleged intimidation and threatening of health workers who are not taking part in the ongoing nationwide nurses’ strike which has Wednesday entered the third day.

Mr Nkanatha, who is a member of the task force formed by Governor Kinuthia Mbugua to look into the crisis in the health sector, on Tuesday said he had instructed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers to investigate the cases where health staff found in hospitals are said to have been intimidated and threatened by their colleagues.

According to Mr Nkanatha, cases have been reported of health workers being victimised on social media and their lives threatened on accusations of betraying their colleagues for not participating in the ongoing strike.

The county commissioner added that he has deployed police officers to protect the staff and the medical equipment in the specific centres where the cases have been reported, including the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital, Bondeni, Lanet and Rongai health centres.

He was speaking in his office in Nakuru after meeting with health officials led by the county executive member for Health Dr Kabii Mungai.

Dr Mungai said they have alerted security agencies after the staff raised concerns over their security after they willingly volunteered to resume work.

He noted that it is necessary for the security agencies to be alerted on the reported threats especially after the task force resolved to reopen four health centres in the county after managing to recruit nurses.

The county commissioner assured the officials that police are on high alert and that action will be taken against anyone who will be found threatening the health workers.