Cash-starved Knut heads to elections despite challenges

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) will conduct its branch elections beginning January 4, 2020, despite the growing financial challenge rocking the union.

The union’s Secretary-General Wilson Sossion revealed to the press that Knut was unbowed by the financial crises and would go against all odds to ensure the elections are conducted.

Sossion, who was addressing journalists from his home in Bomet County on Sunday, faulted the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for waging war against the union and starving them of funds.

“We are aware that TSC top guns have been inciting union officials in a divide and rule tactic, with a view to ousting me from office in the pretext that once that this is done, funds which have been withheld will be released to Knut,” he said.

According to the union, its revenue has shrunk by more than 50 per cent since January, thanks to the shrewd tactics employed by the commission. A case in point is where the Nation reported that the commission released only Sh32 million to the union down from Sh75 million it released on January this year.

The report reveals that the figure has shrunk in the following manner: Sh66 million (March), Sh64 million (April), Sh62 million (May), Sh59 million (June), Sh54 million (June) and Sh34 million (August).

The union has further accused the commission of deregistering its members leading to a loss of revenue totaling to Sh119 million.

Sossion is calling teachers to be assigned a commissioner at the TSC who is not a unionist to champion for the interest of teachers. He said this would be realisable if the country embraced law changes.

“The architecture of the TSC must be revisited. The minimum we will ask for is to have teachers appoint their own commissioner to represent them. This will be done through the BBI process due to the adamant disregard for the law by the current commissioners,” he said.

On Saturday, The Standard reported that Mr Sossion threatened legal action against the teacher’s employer on allegations of deregistering teachers.

“You have strictly three weeks to remedy all these, failure of which the union shall take stern action against you as provided in Article 41 of the constitution without any further referenced to you,” Sossion said, as Standard Digital reported.

The allegations were denied by the commission’s head of corporate affairs Beatrice Wababu who said the teachers voluntarily exited the union.

“There has been a narrative that TSC removed members from Knut to benefit a rival union and that is not true. If teachers left any union, they did so on their own based on a court ruling that worked against them,” said.

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