Officials of Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Murang’a branch have said their secretary general Wilson Sossion is not to blame for woes facing the union.
Led by the national assistant secretary general Clement Gicharu the officials said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is working to bring down the union which has been at the forefront fighting for the rights and welfare of Kenyan teachers.
Gicharu said TSC is spreading propaganda and using all other means aimed at pointing accusing finger to the secretary general that the problem afflicting the union are caused by him so as to divide teachers and bring the union to its knees.
“I want to make it clear that our SG Sossion has nothing to do with the problems facing Knut today. The TSC is deliberately using propaganda to kill the union and trade movement in this country is under siege if the move by TSC is something to go by,” he stated.
Gicharu said the union has been devastated by the deliberate move by the teachers’ employer to kill the once giant organization alleging the TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia has been behind the financial challenges facing Knut.
Speaking during election of new officials of the Knut Murang’a south branch on Saturday, Gicharu observed that TSC removed members of Knut without their consent saying the union had more than 183,000 members but currently the organization is left with less than 23,000 members only.
He noted teachers who were removed from being members of Knut have been trying to return to the union but in vain.
“TSC have been frustrating operations of Knut, one by ensuring the union doesn’t have money to facilitate its function. Some of our offices have been closed due to rent arrears. Teachers employer has refused to deduct our members’ money meant for the union,” added Gicharu.
The assistant secretary general stated that the TSC was established after lobbying by Knut and that as a union they will not tire to demand the teachers’ employer to honour the union’s right.
“Today here we have elected new officials and the new team will continue to soldier for the rights of teachers and ensure the employer respects the will of trainers in this country,” he further said.
Gicharu added “It’s very wrong to remove our members from the union and those removed are just confused where to go. Deduction of members of other unions are being made but TSC has adamantly refused to deduct and submit required fees from Knut members.”
The assistant secretary observed that despite the woes facing the union, teachers have vowed to stand with Knut saying this can be demonstrated by a big turnout of teachers to elect new officials for the union.
Murang’a South Knut branch secretary general, Mr. John Njata said the government has neglected teachers for allowing TSC to continue frustrating operations of Knut.
Njata threatened that Knut may direct its members to reject the Building Bridges Initiative report since welfare of teachers is ignored.
“As teachers we may opt to reject the BBI. Our interests as teachers have been forgotten. No one is standing with us and TSC is out to ensure the union which champions for welfare of teachers is dead!” posed Njata.
By Bernard Munyao