Knut chair­man Mudzo gets a life­line in ouster bid

Teach­ers’ union sec­re­tary-gen­eral Sos­sion had sent him on early re­tire­ment

Business Daily (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - Ouma Wanzala owan­zala@ke.na­tion­media.com

Em­bat­tled Kenya Na­tional Union of Teach­ers (Knut) chair­man Mudzo Nzili yes­ter­day got a life­line af­ter the Min­istry of Labour stopped his ouster.

Mr Nzili’s deputy, Sam­son Kaguma, was also al­lowed to con­tinue serv­ing un­til he at­tains the re­tire­ment age of 60 years.

The two had been granted six months manda­tory ter­mi­nal leave last week by sec­re­tary-gen­eral Wil­son Sos­sion ahead of their re­tire­ment.

Mr Kaguma was ex­pected to re­tire on April 2 while Mr Nzili’s term was to end on May 16.

But in a let­ter to Mr Sos­sion dated Novem­ber 14, Ms Hellen Apiyo, on be­half of Labour Com­mis­sioner said the Min­istry had re­ceived ob­jec­tions from Mr Kaguma and Mr Nzili who claimed they are yet to at­tain the manda­tory re­tire­ment age as stip­u­lated by the union con­sti­tu­tion.

“In light of the above and hav­ing re­ferred to Ar­ti­cle 18(c) of the union con­sti­tu­tion, it would be un­law­ful to pro­ceed with the planned by-elec­tions sched­uled for De­cem­ber 14,

since the po­si­tions are not yet va­cant,” said the Labour com­mis­sioner.

De­tails on Mr Kaguma’s and Mr Nzili’s ages were not dis­closed.

The union was di­rected to seek fur­ther de­tails on the mat­ter from the Regis­trar of Trade Unions.

Mr Wick­liffe Omucheyi had on Sun­day been ap­pointed to re­place Mr Nzili.

Mr Sos­sion yes­ter­day hit back at the min­istry: “The Min­istry of Labour can­not pur­port to run trade unions. The union must be al­lowed be al­lowed to en­gage in their ac­tiv­i­ties within their con­sti­tu­tion,” said Mr Sos­sion, adding that Mr Nzili should di­rect his com­plaint to the union and not gov­ern­ment.

Trou­ble at the union started on Novem­ber 7 when Mr Nzili wrote to Mr Sos­sion ask­ing him to va­cate of­fice fol­low­ing his nom­i­na­tion as ODM leg­is­la­tor in Au­gust.

“Bro Wil­son, on Au­gust 31, you were sworn into Na­tional As­sem­bly, by the Clerk Sialai. Hav­ing served in the union for a con­sid­er­able pe­riod of time, you are well aware that as a mat­ter of com­mon prac­tice and cus­tom, the union does not mix na­tional party pol­i­tics with teacher’s pro­fes­sional is­sues, be­cause Knut is a pro­fes­sional union,” said the chair­man in the let­ter.

Mr Nzili had ap­pointed Hes­born Otieno as act­ing sec­re­tary-gen­eral while Collins Oyuu was named as deputy sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

--AN­THONY OMUYA

TUS­SLE Knut chair­man Mudzo Nzili and sec­re­tary-gen­eral Wil­son Sos­sion dur­ing a press brie ing ear­lier this year.

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