Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto accompanied by a group of rowdy youths Wednesday stormed a doctor’s union meeting at Fair Hill Hotel and allegedly roughed up the officials bringing the meeting to disarray.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KPMDU) officials included the union’s national secretary-general Ouma Oluga, chairman Samuel Oroko, the South Rift branch secretary-general Davji Atela and Bomet County union representatives, all numbering 15.
Two local radio reporters, Hillary Mutai (Kass FM) and Isaiah Kiplangat (Kongasis FM), who had attempted to take photographs at the time, were also roughed up during the melee.
Mr Ruto reportedly had an argument with the union’s officials before all hell broke loose.
After the botched meeting, Dr Oluga accused the governor of leading around 30 goons who roughed up two female doctors from Bomet and South Rift branches before they were forcibly ejected from the hotel.
He said the governor should be held responsible for his action and insisted that no amount of intimidation will scare the doctors from continuing with the ongoing national strike.
“At one stage, the governor drew his gun to intimidate us but we remained calm as youths roughed us up,” he alleged.
Dr Attela echoed the secretary-general’s sentiments and dismissed doctors masquerading as representatives of the union in the region as quacks who are not qualified to be doctors.
On his part, the governor said he was not aware of the doctors’ meeting and that he had gone to the hotel to meet Narok West MP Patrick Ntutu.
“I wanted to send him with a message of condolence to deliver on my behalf to bereaved families in Emurua Dikirr Constituency during the tribal animosities between the Kipsigis and Maasai,” Mr Ruto said.
On allegations that he drew a gun and pointed it at the doctors, the governor dismissed it as ‘nonsense’.
“I have never been licensed with a gun and I challenge anybody to tell me [in] which police station I was issued with one,” he said.
He added, “I only requested to have a word with the union’s secretary-general when I heard that they were meeting at the hotel but he refused to have any discussion with me. That’s all.”
The governor said the doctors’ union officials have been issuing threats to representatives of the union in the region to down their tools.
Since the strike started about a month ago, health workers in Bomet have refused to heed calls from the union officials to join in.
Mr Ruto said they had not taken such threats lightly but had posted security officers to all hospitals.
“Doctors in my government are hired on a job group higher than those employed by the national government or other counties and that is why they have ignored the ongoing strike,” he said, adding that this could be the reason the union’s national officials have sought to eject them from their work stations.
The chief officer in charge of medical services in the county, Dr Bernard Sowek, said some of the doctors from the county who had joined the national officials in the meeting have been on duty but on go slow.
However, he said, disciplinary action had been taken against them for their failure to report on duty as required.
The proprietor of the hotel, a Mr Kirui, said he was not aware that there was a meeting going on saying he just welcomed the officials as guests of the hotel.


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