The Kenyan government has ordered striking doctors to resume work and announced that it has withdrawn a 50% pay increment after talks to resolve the strike failed.

The doctors are demanding between 150 – 180% pay increments.

In the new deal reached with the help of mediators who included religious leaders, the doctors were required to sign a return to work
formula and resume work immediately but the doctors have turned down the offer.

The strike by more than 5 000 doctors in Kenya’s public hospitals is now in the third month.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says the doctors are blackmailing government.

The strike, which began in December, has provoked anger among Kenyans and put pressure on Kenyatta’s government ahead an election in August.

That agreement also called for a review of working conditions, job structures and criteria for promotions and address under-staffing in state hospitals.

The lengthy stand-off between the doctors and the government has seen some union officials serve short jail terms after being found guilty of contempt of court in relation to the strike.

– Additional reporting by Reuters.

– By Sarah Kimani