Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion was yesterday staring at an imminent ouster from the union’s helm after several branches threw their weight behind his main opponent Stanley Mutai ahead of this weekend’s branch elections.
Mutai, a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) and the Knut Kericho branch secretary appears to enjoy a head start in the race for the union’s SG’s position after receiving the backing of several branches drawn from Central, Nyanza, Western, Coast and his home turf, Rift Valley regions.
Knut Kericho branch secretary is set for a meeting with teachers of Mumias and Kakamega this weekend as he extends his tentacles to every corner of the country in a bid to enable him win the top most seat in the union.
Restore lost glory
Mutai, a straight shooting trade unionist did not mince his words when he announced he was ready for face-off with Sossion in the union’s elections.
While announcing his candidature for the union’s top post in Kericho town, Mutai revealed that he will restore the giant union’s lost glory.
At the heart of Sossion’s woes are his bitter differences with the teachers’ employer over members’ pay, promotion of teachers and others issues touching on the welfare of the teachers.
The differences have seen the union membership shrink following the decision by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) not to remit teachers’ deductions to the giant union and its failure to promote KNUT affiliated teachers.
Sossion has repeatedly accused the TSC and its Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia for what he terms as a well-calculated move to permanently crippled the union by denying it resources.
TSC has however dismissed Sossion’s protests arguing that members left the union on their on their volition.
Sossion and by extension the union is now standing on a shaky ground after the union’s membership reduced from about 187,471 to 51,215 currently.
Since 2019, the 110 union branches have been facing a lot challenges because they have been unable to pay staff salaries, allowances and medical covers a problem that had not been witnessed during the reign of the past Secretary General.
The union’s boss had opposed the laptop project and Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) thus straining relationship with the government.