You Have No Right To Represent Workers: KNUT Branch Officials Tell Sossion
Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT, Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, is in more trouble since majority of his juniors want him to be barred from seeking re-election in polls due next year.
Over 90 out of 110 KNUT branch secretaries have started a push to block Sossion from vying in KNUT elections, claiming he is not eligible since he had been deregistered by the teachers’ service commission, TSC.
The KNUT branch officials Wrote to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui on December 15th 2020, saying Sossion had been deregistered as a teacher by the TSC and therefore should not lead the union, but is currently leading illegally.
“This act denies him the right and democratic viability to represent workers who stopped sharing an employer with him,” the letter reads.
The KNUT officials accuse Mr. Sossion of continual dictatorship, saying he unilaterally suspended the union’s constitution and that his confrontational leadership style has impacted to declining fortunes of KNUT.
Without consultation, Mr. Sossion has single handedly suspended union organs such as annual meetings and the National Delegate’s Conference.
“Suspension of the union constitution, union organs and functions for two years was in itself a legal flaw that calls for probing as the same can never be a preserve of an individual, whose membership to the very union still stands questioned,” the letter says.
They want the Ministry of Labour to intervene in Knut management, especially in human resource, financial management.
KNUT elections have been scheduled from January 4 to March 31 2021 at branch levels and between April and June 2021 at the national level.
While issuing the election timetable on 14th December, Sossion directed those with complains to wait for the elections. “Anyone with issues should wait for the elections,” he told Nation.
Mr. Sossion was appointed by TSC as a Diploma teacher on permanent and pensionable terms in 1993. He stopped serving as a classroom teacher in June 2001, upon his election as KNUT Secretary, Bomet branch.He went on to be elected as Knut SG and he was re-elected on March 4, 2016 for a five-year term.But it is following his nomination by ODM to the National Assembly as Member of Parliament in August 2017 that Mr Sossion’s troubles began.
TSC issued him with a letter of termination dated January 17, 2018. From then on, Mr Sossion has had constant run-ins with TSC.
The rebellious branch secretaries have requested for a legitimate register of Knut voters from the TSC for perusal and verification at each polling stage.
They want voting centres clearly identified and named and their credible management guaranteed to avoid infiltration of elections by illegal personalities.
Kericho branch secretary, Stanley Mutai, claims that Sossion’s leadership style is what had caused members to leave the union, crippling operations in the branches.
“As branch secretaries we are suffering and we have not received our salaries for 16 months now since June 2019. We cannot let this to continue,” said Mr Mutai.
“We feel he is not obeying the organs of the union and therefore we need a change. We are in full support because we have to save Knut as a union, ” said Nyandarua branch secretary.
The branch secretaries have been holding meetings since last month where they agreed to remove Mr. Sossion from the secretary general’s position. Next