Kenyan nurses claim unfair treatment in Botswana
Nursing and Midwifery Council of Botswana says they are not qualified
Two Kenyan nurses who have been practicing in Botswana for seven years before being deregistered last year have petitioned the Lobatse High Court alleging that they were unfairly treated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Botswana.
Ruth Karikuki and Jacqueline Oniamba were deregistered as nurses and or/midwives following allegations that they did not possess the required qualifications to practice in Botswana.
Karikuki worked for Independence surgery in Gaborone while Oniamba worked for the Ministry of Health. High Court Judge Zibane Makhwade heard the case.
According to the papers filed in court, the de-registration followed a fact finding mission that the Council had undertaken in Kenya, the country were the two nurses obtained their qualifications. Karikuki and Oniamba hold the Kenya Registered Community Health Nurse qualification, referred to as KRCHN, which combines both the nursing and midwifery programmes, and which the Botswana programme does not.
Representing the two nurses, attorney Gosego Garebamono of the Garebamono and Pillar law practice, said that the decision to deregister the two nurses was wrongful, unlawful, unreasonable, and irrational, based on baseless considerations; it was made in bad faith, and on those grounds should be set aside.
He added that respondent never carried out a substantive comparison of the KRCHN qualification and Botswana’s.
Representing the Council, Gosego Lekgowe of Monthe Marumo and Company, said that submissions of lack of comparative difference between the two programs overlook the reasons advanced by the Council in the letter of deregistration.
He also denied that the two nurses were never told of about the results of the benchmarking exercise.
He argued that it was not the two nurses’ competency that was at issue; it was whether they held the right qualifications.
“Their experience would not have changed the question of whether or they held the right qualifications,” he said. A driver who drives a vehicle for ten years without a license and is found out by the authorities cannot be heard to say, ‘but I have been driving for ten years’, attorney Lekgowe remarked.
He said that the delay in deregistering duo has been acknowledged and explained. “We submit that this does not indicate any ill or ulterior motive on the respondent’s side.”