Nurses gang up against Panyako ahead of next year’s union elections

By , K24 Digital
On Fri, 30 Oct, 2020 15:24 | < 1 min read
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako. [PHOTO | FILE]
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako. [Photo/]
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General Seth Panyako. PHOTO/Print

By Mutuku Mwangangi,

A section of nurses opposed to the leadership of the reigning secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Seth Panyako, are demanding total adherence to a circular issued by the Registrar of Trade Unions on the conduct of elections scheduled for next year.

Dozens of union officials drawn from various regions across the country on Friday, October 30, convened a press conference in Machakos town where they vowed to resist any alteration to the provisions of the union’s constitution ahead of the polls.

They accused Panyako of an attempt to extend his rein in office against the will of nurses will.

“Since its inception, the union elections process has been contentiously managed. Allegations abound that the nursing fraternity of the General Secretary’s cherry-picked candidates constantly prevailing against those not favored by him,” said Halima Adan, who is the Secretary-General of KNUN Machakos County chapter.

The nurses claimed the recently convened Special Governing Council meeting held in Isiolo on October 23, was unprocedural.

“The meeting constitutes the latest attempt at both subverting the will of nurses and forcing the widely rejected changes in the constitution. The membership is not willing to accept any tweaking of the process to please a few individuals against the wishes of the majority,” Ms Adan said.

But contacted for a comment, Panyako dismissed the allegations, terming them childish.

“Those are childish manners and behavior of a few individuals who have no mandate to speak for the nursing fraternity in this country. I have more serious issues to handle relating to the welfare of nurses and not address individuals who want to use women power to climb to leadership,” Panyako told K24 Digital in a telephone interview.