Teachers from Rift Valley region have vowed to rally behind Wilson Sossion’s re-election in the coming national elections of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).
Speaking at AIC Visha Oshwal Primary School, Kabarnet on Saturday during Baringo Branch AGM cum elections, the newly elected Executive Secretary Rev Joshua Cheptarus said that Sossion is a true definition of a firm leader who has stood with the union through thick and thin.
He commended him for not relenting the fight amidst a widening rift between Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the union.
“He has been frustrated to the extent the union has been denied remittance for one and half years but he has continued to champion the right of teachers,” he stated.
Rev Cheptarus noted that the Secretary General is a true leader who resonates well with all teachers across the nation.
The Union’s Rift Valley Women representative on affirmative action Jacinta Kiptoo reiterated that all branches in the region will be backing Sossion in April this year during his quest to defend his seat.
Kiptoo said that although the teachers from the region are not eligible to vote for the position, she is optimistic that the representation from rift valley shall do that on their behalf.
She said that Sossion has continuously agitated for improved salaries since he assumed office.
The Keiyo branch women representative urged teachers to remain loyal members of KNUT and continue to support him and other officials from the union.
Executive Secretary Koibatek Branch Francis Bundotich has asked Sossion to stay put and fight for the rights of teachers until the teachers who have missed on promotion get promoted an issue he said has been avoided by the employer for long.
Sossion in his remarks said that he is confident that the teachers will continue supporting KNUT and continue to sponsor some of the programmes for the union which TSC has denied them through ending of the monthly remittance.
“We want to transition into a strong union to the next generation of teachers, and like it has happened elsewhere we are encouraging our members to remit their membership fees directly to KNUT accounts through standing orders,” said Sossion.
He alleged that some individuals were fighting to ouster him so that they can have a smooth ride to disrupt the once vibrant union in the country.
The secretary general warned teachers to be vigilant and safeguard their union from individuals who do not mean well for the rights of teachers.
During the branch elections in which the previous office bearers were all reelected, the women representative seat went to Esther Cheptumo who garnered 447 votes against closest challenger Benedine Argut who got 249 votes.
Treasurers position went to Elizabeth Keitany with 544 against Francis Yatich’s 154 while the Branch Chairman’s seat when to Silas Rutto who garnered 495 votes against 191 of Keneth Chelang’a and the executive secretary position was secured by Rev Joshua Cheptarus who got 599 votes against Stanley Sumukwo’s 97 votes.
By Benson Kelio/Christopher Kiprop