Release Dr Austin Omondi- KMPDU Threatens To Close All Medical Services

Release Dr Austin Omondi- KMPDU Threatens To Close All Medical Services
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Dr Omondi was leading a blood donation drive to aid injured protestors at the Sikh Union along Forest Road at the time of his abduction. 

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has demanded the immediate release of Austin Omondi, a doctor who was on Sunday, June 23 reportedly abducted by people believed to be police officers.

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Viral Tea had got wind of earlier reports that Dr Omondi, also known popularly as JaPrado, was picked up by plain-clothes officers and whisked away aboard a car registered as KCU 819H to an undisclosed location.

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Dr Omondi was leading a blood donation drive to aid injured protestors at the Sikh Union along Forest Road at the time of his abduction. 

He has been providing medical aid to the injured during the #RejectFinanceBill2024 protests, with the arrest reportedly linked to the protests.

A photo of Dr Austin Omondi with a newborn child. /AUSTIN OMONDI

In a statement on Sunday, June 23, KMPDU Secretary-General, Davji Atellah condemned the arrest as well as “unequivocally reject any breach of the Geneva Conventions, which protect medics and aid workers even in conflict zones”, adding that the recent protests do not justify such reprehensible actions.

“The “Medics for Kenya” initiative, led by young doctors under our Union’s guidance, provides essential first aid to protestors injured by violent police actions. Despite facing challenges, including unemployment affecting 4,000 doctors and 1,500 interns waiting for their licenses, we stand in solidarity with the protests aimed at making the Kenyan government prioritize its citizens over international financial institutions,” the statement read in part.

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KMPDU therefore issued an ultimatum of midnight tonight for Dr Omondi to be released immediately and unconditionally, threatening consequences for failure for the demand to be met.

“Should he not be safely returned by midnight, we will initiate the closure of all public and private medical services to locate our colleague,” vowed Atellah.

“We urge the individuals driving police car KCU 819H to return Dr Omondi immediately to continue his life-saving humanitarian work. Medical personnel remain impartial, dedicated to saving lives on all sides of any conflict.”

A spot check by Viral Tea through the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) found that the car’s number plate did not exist in the database.

Reports indicated that before his abduction, Omondi received numerous threats concerning his work in mobilising over 3,000 unemployed doctors and other healthcare workers (HCWS) to provide emergency services during the peaceful protests.

“Last evening, Dr Austin reported to us that strange people have been calling him and issuing death threats due to his involvement with the ‘Medics for Kenya’ activities, where young medics have been offering free medical aid and leading a blood donation drive to help injured protesters,” Atellah told the media.

“I know there are people who miss the Nyayo days of terror where citizens were maimed and killed for standing up for their rights, but I have news for them: those days are long gone and anybody who tries to take that path will forcefully be dragged back to the straight and narrow path of political accountability.”

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He urged the police to stop brutalising and abducting Kenyans, adding that the fight to reject the Finance Bill is for a better country, featuring decent salaries and dignified houses for the police too.

The abduction comes just a day after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) confirmed the release of content creator Billy Simani, also known as “Crazy Nairobian”, though popular social media personalities have expressed fear over the growing number of abductions during the protests.

Billy the Crazy Nairobi during anti-finance bill protests on Thursday, June 20. /X

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