The labour court on Monday, November 8, stopped the process of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF)and National Youth Service(NYS) taking command of the operations of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority(KEMSA).

On November 4, 2021, Government announced that KDF and NYS would take over operations at the troubled Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) on a caretaker basis.

In his ruling, Judge Kebiria Ocharo also stopped the decision by the KEMSA board to discharge more than 900 employees. 

According to the ruling, the decision will remain in force pending the hearing and determination of a petition by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union(KMPDU) scheduled for November 16.

File image of President Uhuru Kenyatta with KDF soldiers at Boni Forest. |Photo| PSCU

According to the KMPDU petition, the decision by the KEMSA board to have the KDF and NYS take over the management of the operations is illegal, and they want the court to rule over the matter in their favour.

Following the takeover announcement by the State last week, the agency's chairperson, Mary Chao Mwadime advised all non-core staff to proceed on a 30-day leave as restructuring of the body takes place.

During the period, the operations at KEMSA would be run by a lean team drawn from some core employees and other government entities.

The employees on the 30-day break would also be evaluated and appraisal reports filed within the notice period.

Mwadime mentioned the move was necessary to ensure that service delivery at KEMSA was not disrupted. 

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Dr Davi Atellah (M) with colleagues at a press briefing. (Courtesy)