KNUN Secretary General Mr. Seth Panyako. Photo/ Courtesy.

What The 10 million Scandal at KNUN Means For The Nurses

A recent indictment of four officials in a court case on embezzlement of funds has now left a pretty irreversible dent in the reputation of the union.

1 min read

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) which is the main body that champions for the welfare of nurses has largely been moribund for the last five years due to petty wrangles among officials and overindulgence in national politics.

The union has been on a downward spiral since the last election of officials was conducted a few months ago. The sham election in which Mr. Seth Panyako retained his seat as Secretary General was marred with pockets of violence and dissent. However, a recent indictment of four officials in a court case on embezzlement of funds has now left a pretty irreversible dent in the reputation of the union.

Simon Kibii – former Uasin Gishu branch chairman, Alice Yahuma – a nurse, Grace Kinyanjui and Ali Gabow – former Lamu County chairman were compelled by the employment and labor relations court to refund a total of KES 10, 526, 463 to the Kenya National Union of Nurses on 16th March 2023 in a case that involved two banks: Eco Bank Kenya Limited and Kenya Commercial Bank.

The four who were among the seven respondents in the case had allegedly diverted union dues from select counties to illegal accounts in the above-mentioned banks. Sources indicate that they were working in cahoots with corrupt personnel at the Ministry of Health to cripple the operations of the union. They were also part of the team that was at loggerheads with the Panyako-led wing of the union over supremacy.

Considering the colossal damage, the union has suffered under mediocre leadership, it is not guaranteed that the refund would place it on the right path to financial recovery let alone regain its lost credibility.

The court cases are viewed by a majority of those privy to the matter as an extension of the interpersonal wars within the union officials rather than a quest for justice inasmuch the accused have been found guilty of corruption.

The nursing profession is currently plagued by a myriad of problems for instance unharmonized and delayed salaries for those who work in county health facilities, delayed posting of nurses with degrees for internship, and unfair recruitment practices among others. KNUN has never paid meaningful attention to these issues despite an ever-increasing outcry from the nursing fraternity.

It is therefore difficult to believe that the current crop of leaders is acting in the best interest of nurses when crucial matters take a back seat as selfish interests reign supreme. Consequently, a sizeable number of nurses are contemplating withdrawing membership from the union. Fresh graduates are not showing interest in joining the union either.

The nurse’s union will eventually blast itself into oblivion if the current trend of run-away corruption and incompetency remains unchallenged.

Nurses hope that proper leadership would be installed at the union through a credible electoral process that would then embark on a journey to restore dignity in the profession.

Previous Story

6 Crucial Facts About the Dreaded Marburg Virus

Next Story

Transferring of the Mukumu Girls Principal was a Stingy PR Gimmick

Latest from Blog