Over 5,000 doctors will be going to the polls from this morning (Thursday) to pick their national and branch officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU).
The election which is to be conducted virtually has attracted a number of candidates as branch officials seek to edge out their national counterparts for the coveted seats.
Nyanza KMPDU chairman Dr Kevin Osuri will be competing against the incumbent secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda in a race that has also attracted two other candidates.
The union’s spokesperson position is also be scrambled for by Nairobi County branch secretary Alex Thuranira and Dr Ouma Bimji.
Bring industrial harmony
Dr Osuri who expressed confidence of taking over the leadership of the union said his first agenda will be to bring industrial harmony between the labour movement and the county governments.
“In the last two years alone, doctors in different counties have been forced to down their tools to the disadvantage of Kenyans who seek medical services,” he said.
The vocal unionist who attributed the current impasse to failure by the employers to honour tripartite agreements said there is need to bring the parties to the table instead of always having to resolve issues on the street.
KMPDU second vice chairperson Allan Ochanji will also go for the national chairmanship position as he reiterated his commitment to strengthen the union in accordance to the aspirations of its members.
“This is the only way which we can be able to respond to emerging issues and avoid the back and forth between the union and the county government that has seen salaries being withheld and people going on strike,” he said.
He accused most of the devolved units of illegally reneging on schemes of service, illegal termination of employments and failing to implement the collective bargaining agreements (CBA).
Once in office, Dr Ochanji said his first task will be to push for the negotiation of a new 2021-2024 CBA, saying the current one is set to expire by the end of June.
The consultant based at Machakos Level Five hospital also said the union will fight for the reinstatement of doctors in Laikipia and Kirinyaga counties.
He will however face off with Lower Eastern Branch chairman Harvey Mulei, Magare Gikenyi (a consultant surgeon at Nakuru PGH) and Abby Mwachi.
The online voting exercise to be conducted across all the 10 branches in the country will kick off from 7am to 6pm before declaration of the winners later in the day.