Row looms as top Knut of­fi­cials kicked out be­fore re­tire­ment age

Chair­man was to leave of­fice in June next year while his deputy was set to re­tire in April

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY OUMA WANZALA owan­­tion­

Move, how­ever, draws crit­i­cism from the union’s na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee

Two top Kenya Na­tional Union of Teach­ers (Knut) of­fi­cials have been kicked out of their po­si­tions ahead of their re­tire­ment as lead­er­ship wran­gles take stage.

Knut Chair­man Mudzo Nzili and his vice-chair­man Sam­son Kaguma have been served with re­tire­ment let­ters by Sec­re­tarygen­eral Wil­son Sos­sion who has also de­clared De­cem­ber 14 as the date of elec­tion to fill their po­si­tions.

Mr Wick­liffe Omucheyi, the sec­ond vice-chair­man, has been ap­pointed as act­ing chair­man ahead of the poll.

How­ever, Mr Nzili, who has been in­volved in wran­gles with Mr Sos­sion at the union in the past, in­sisted that he had not re­tired. “I do not want to com­ment fur­ther on this is­sue please,” he told Na­tion.

How­ever, sources at the union said Mr Nzili is likely to head to court in or­der to stop the planned elec­tion.

He is sup­posed to re­tire of­fi­cially in June next year when he turns 60 while Mr Kaguma is to re­tire in April next year.

How­ever, one can leave of­fice six months to the re­tire­ment date but vol­un­tar­ily.

The planned De­cem­ber elec­tion will also be held for the po­si­tion of sec­ond vicechair­man. “The elec­tion shall

14 Date in De­cem­ber when Sos­sion has said the elec­tion to re­place of­fi­cials will be held

be su­per­vised and con­ducted by the Com­mis­sioner of Labour who has been no­ti­fied in a separate cor­re­spon­dence,” said Mr Sos­sion in a let­ter to the union’s branch ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­taries.

The move has also ex­posed dif­fer­ences in the union with some mem­bers of the union’s top de­ci­sion mak­ing or­gan won­der­ing why the hurry to re­tire the two.

“As a union, we did not meet to de­lib­er­ate on this is­sue. You can­not force some­one out even be­fore he at­tains the manda­tory re­tire­ment age. You can­not also call for an elec­tion to re­place some­body who is still in of­fice,” said a mem­ber of the na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber.

The two lead­ers’ dif­fer­ences date back to 2013 when Mr Sos­sion man­aged to oust Mr Nzili who was then the act­ing sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

Dur­ing the Au­gust elec­tion, dif­fer­ences be­tween Mr Sos­sion, who is also an ODM nom­i­nated MP, and Mr Nzili played out as they sup­ported dif­fer­ent po­lit­i­cal out­fits.

Whereas Mr Sos­sion asked all teach­ers to vote out Ju­bilee to save the teach­ing pro­fes­sion, Mr Nzili was be­hind the rul­ing party.

Last year, they dif­fered again over new ex­am­i­na­tion reg­u­la­tions that had been in­tro­duced by Ed­u­ca­tion Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Fred Ma­tiang’i to curb cheat­ing.

Mr Sos­sion op­posed the reg­u­la­tions while Mr Nzili sup­ported them. In 2014, they dif­fered over a de­ci­sion by Mr Sos­sion to boycott Labour Day cel­e­bra­tions. Mr Nzili, how­ever, at­tended the event.

We did not meet to de­lib­er­ate on this is­sue. You can­not force some­one out even be­fore he at­tains the manda­tory re­tire­ment age” Na­tional ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber

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