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High Court halts sacking of Kemsa workers

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High Court halts sacking of Kemsa workers

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A move by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) to sack its employees over redundancy claims has been stopped by the High Court.

Justice Ocharo Kebira issued the injunction barring Health Cabinet Mutahi Kagwe and the Kemsa board from deploying National Youth Service and military officers to the agency until a case challenging the restructuring is heard and determined.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) moved to court to stop the planned takeover by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and National Youth Service (NYS).

In an urgent application, KMPDU says the move to sack the employees and deploy KDF and NYS members in their place amounts to unjust termination of employment.

Through their lawyer, the union argued that the move by Kemsa will affect its members who depend on the agency to do their work.

“We are asking the court to restrain the Ministry of Health from terminating the employment of Kemsa staff and to stop the government from deploying KDF and NYS officers to run the agency,” lawyer Kurauka pleaded.

Last week, the Authority board issued a notice to its non-core staff to work from home for the next thirty days as part of its restructuring plans.

In his ruling Justice Kebira said, “an order is issued restraining the Ministry of Health from declaring redundant or terminating the services of Kemsa employees and enlisting the services of active members of KDF and NYS to take up those positions.”

Kemsa has been riddled by corruption cases including a Shs. 7.8 billion COVID-19 procurement scandal facing its senior officials.

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