TSC OUT TO KILL KNUT

KNUT treasurer Matiang'i slams TSC for curtailing freedom of worship

He says move to ban teachers from politics and doing activitiues including trainings over weekend illegal

In Summary

• Matiang’i, who spoke at Gusii Stadium on Sunday when he presided over branch elections, noted that the TSC’s move to ban teachers from attending trainings, elections and other activities on weekdays is illegal.

•“Teachers are denied an opportunity to worship on their preferred days because they must attend trainings on weekends. Like now, we have been forced to do elections on Saturdays and Sunday when we are supposed to be in church. We cannot accept to work on weekends,” Matiang’i said.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) National treasurer John Matiang’i has slammed the teachers’ employer for curtailing freedom of worship.

Matiang’i, who spoke at Gusii Stadium on Sunday when he presided over branch elections noted, that the Teachers Service Commission’s move to ban teachers from attending trainings, elections and other activities on weekdays is illegal.

He petitioned the clergy and MPs to speak out against the move saying it was unconstitutional.

“Church leaders and politicians should not be mute leaving their members at the mercy of employees busy in defying the Constitution,” he noted.

“Teachers are denied an opportunity to worship on their preferred days because they must attend trainings on weekends. Like now, we have been forced to do elections on Saturday and Sunday when we are supposed to be in church. We cannot accept to work on weekends,” Matiang’i said.

He added: “TSC has now become a rogue commission that is implementing illegal policies and intimidating teachers. We are warning the commission that teachers will reject any form of intimidation.”

He said actions by TSC were affecting the morale of teachers.

“Teachers are low in morale and feel threatened. Warning letters are becoming the norm of the day. You can take a cow to the river but you can’t force it into drinking water,” he further added.

Matiang’i further warned that TSC was out to kill the giant union.

“We had more than 100,000 members but the numbers have gone down due to intimidation by our employer. KNUT will not die and I want to ask President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene,” he told jubilant members.

Last week, ODM party leader Raila Odinga asked the Teachers Service Commission and the teacher’s umbrella Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to find the solution to their stalemate.

“As of today, membership of Knut has shrunk from a high of 187,000 to 23,000. Its income has dwindled from Sh144 million to Sh15 million against a salary portfolio of Sh80 million for over 600 workers spread across the country,” Raila said.

He said that teachers are not happy with the current threats from their employer, who is about to bring to its knees the movement built from the scratch since 1957.

Siaya Senator James Orengo also weighed in on the issue and warned against efforts to kill the KNUT.

Speaking in Vihiga during the burial of Mama Hannah Mudavadi said, “We fought for TSC to defend and fight for teachers. The TSC is killing KNUT instead of defending it. Mr President save the teachers from TSC.”