Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino tells President Ruto,Sell your Ksh10M watch and pay doctors

Embakasi East Member of Parliament (MP), Babu Owino, has made a passionate appeal to President William Ruto, urging him to consider selling his watch valued at Ksh10 million in order to address the ongoing strike by doctors.

In a widely circulated video on social media dated Tuesday, April 9, 2024, Babu Owino emphasized that it was untenable for the President to claim that the government lacked the financial means to improve doctors’ salaries while wearing such an extravagant timepiece.

Asserting his point, Babu Owino referenced a biblical passage, Matthew 7:9-11, illustrating the principle of providing for those in need, equating doctors’ demands for better pay to a basic necessity. He emphasized the abundance of resources within the country that could be directed towards addressing the doctors’ grievances.

Furthermore, Babu Owino highlighted the significant revenue influx into the government coffers following recent tax hikes, coupled with substantial borrowing from external sources, suggesting that the government indeed possessed the necessary financial resources to meet the demands of the striking doctors.

Expressing concern for the dire consequences of the ongoing strike, Babu Owino underscored the loss of lives attributed to the paralysis of essential services in public hospitals.

Babu Owino’s remarks come in the wake of President Ruto’s call for the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to halt the strike and accept the government’s offer. However, President Ruto maintained during a Sunday service in Eldoret on April 7, 2024, that the government’s financial constraints limited its ability to meet the doctors’ demands fully.

President Ruto stressed the need to adhere to fiscal responsibility, citing the government’s current capacity to provide only a modest stipend of Ksh70,000 for medical interns, with no promises of a sustainable salary beyond one year.