Push and pull at teachers’ body as delegates convene for polls

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 00:00 |
From left: Knuti national treasurer James Ndiku, chairman Collins Oyuu and assistant secretary-general Rosalia Mkanjala at a press conference in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/Gerald Ithana

Irene Githinji and KNA 

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has insisted that the elections slated for June 25 – 26 will go on as planned at the Ruaraka Sports Club despite efforts to derail the process.

Knut Acting Chairman, Collins Oyuu yesterday told off union’s Secretary General, Wilson Sossion for secretly sending a letter to Ministry of Health to stop physical meeting over the weekend.

He accused Sossion of misleading teachers, terming the latter’s letter to the ministry as being in bad taste, inciting and totally ignoring proposals by Knut’s Covid-19 protocol sub-committee that has to give guidelines on the handling of elections.

“We are prepared because we have identified and paid up for the venue, delegates have already signaled and booked places.

Those from far flung areas have been informed on where to spend the night,” said Oyuu, who spoke from Knut headquarters in Nairobi.

Virtual participation

“ It is shocking to realise that amid all these activities, Sossion secretly sent a letter to your office, which according to the steering committee, was in bad faith, personal, meant to incite and cause your office to cancel the well organised in-person voting conference which was strictly going to observe Covid-19 protocols,” said Oyuu, in a letter to the Ministry of Health.

He gave reasons why they are not advocating virtual participation of elections including the fact that Knut Constitution does not support virtual voting.

Oyuu also said the positions are contested without a single one unopposed and that all delegates will cast their votes without representation.

Health Principal Secretary Dr. Susan Mochache gave a go-ahead for the meeting, saying that adherence measures have been put in place to reduce risk of transmission.

“…you clarified that the delegates will not be congregating, that it will be a walk-in walk out voting process.

So the issue of gathering does not arise and the ministry has no objection to the union proceeding with the in-person Special Delegates Conference,” Mochache said.

Oyuu has since assured that there will be no campaigns on election day or gathering and the delegates should carry their own pens and walk out after voting.

“We are ready, we are not afraid of Covid-19, all delegates who were asked to stay away by Sossion through his notice to branches should not be afraid.

Sossion said we have not been allowed to hold physical elections, he is afraid of losing,” Oyuu added.

This came as National Executive Council maintained that Sossion will not continue leading the union despite his efforts to cling onto leadership.

Speaking in Eldoret, Knut Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno said the council had resolved on elections and that they will not be intimidated in any way.

“It is shocking to find out that Sossion has written a letter secretly to the demanding postponement of the forthcoming elections under the pretext of Covid-19,” said Otieno.

He insisted that the Labour Ministry has given them a green light to proceed with the elections as scheduled but their counterparts were being used to delay the process.

“This will not work this time round. Real change is what the union is yearning to have.

This election is going to be a game changer in reviving the already dead union which cannot protect teachers,” he observed.

 Otieno denied allegations being peddled that the government was funding them to oust the union’s leadership arguing change in any organisation is inevitable.

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