Police on Monday disrupted a night vigil that was organised by striking doctors in solidarity with their union officials who were jailed earlier in the day.
The officers drawn from the General Service Unit, Administration and Regular Police units dispersed the doctors from their meeting at Railways Club, Nairobi.
A senior police officer asked the doctors, who were chanting anti-government slogans, to leave the premises on grounds that the meeting was illegal.
“This is a private business premise. Kindly move out peacefully,” the officer said after which the doctors began singing the national anthem.
The group of doctors, who were joined by other human rights activists among other professionals, heeded to the call but vowed to press on with their demonstrations.
With their cars blaring horns, they left in hordes, chanting ‘CBA! CBA! CBA!’, probably in reference to the contested collective bargaining agreement.
The CBA, which the group signed with the government in 2013, was to guarantee the doctors a better pay, promotions and improved working conditions.
But the government has maintained that the agreement is illegal, citing grounds that the same was not registered in court.
The strike entered its 71st day on Monday with legal experts connoting that the same may last longer since there can be no negotiations without the doctor’s union officials.
Those jailed included Samuel Oroko (chairman), Ouma Oluga (secretary general) among other officials Daisy Korir (Treasurer), Titus Ondoro (1st Vice Chariman), Allan Ochanji (2nd Vice chairman), Mwachonda Chibandzi (Deputy Secretary General) and Evelyne Chege.
Judge Hellen Wasilwa of the Labour Relations Court on Monday ruled that the group were guilty of contempt of court for failing to end the strike.
The male officials will serve their 30-day sentence at the Industrial Area prison while their female counterparts will do their time at the Langata female prison.
The Kenya Medical Association announced the closure of all private health facilities for 24 hours starting Monday midnight in protest over the action.