Knut top leadership groping in darkness

Judy Akuma and Evans Nyakundi @PeopleDailyKe

Uncertainty continues to shroud leadership of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) after embattled Secretary General Wilson Sossion claimed differences in the body have been sorted out.

However, his deputy, Hesbon Otieno, insisted Sossion’s suspension is still in place and that the leadership wrangles in the union cannot be sorted out through a “simple handshake”.

Speaking during the Knut Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Rachounyo, Sossion said the rift between him and other members of the union had been ironed out.

He claimed that the two factions had buried their hatchet and agreed to work together for the posterity of the teachers.

The rebel group, which was led by assistant general secretary Collins Oyoo, was held hostage before they shook hands with Sossion before hundreds of teachers, an indication that they have addressed their differences.

Oyoo pleaded with the angry teachers who wanted them recalled from office saying they had been misled to overthrow Sossion but promised not to fall into the same trap again.

Addressing teachers, Sossion said hose who were fighting him were politicians from the Jubilee coalition who wanted to scuttle his plans of fighting for teachers’ rights at the National Assembly where he is a nominated MP.

In a phone interview with the People Daily yesterday, Sossion reiterated that the storm which has been brewing in Knut’s top leadership for the last one month has finally come to an end.

“We have been having a lot of internal communication among the union’s top leadership and we have resolved that the differences that existed are over,” he said.

He denied that the issues have been resolved saying that the decision to suspend Sossion was made by the union’s National Elections Council (NEC).

He dismissed claims that they have resolved the top leadership brawl saying proper procedure has to be followed for the issue to be resolved.

“Sossion remains suspended until NEC states otherwise. The decision to suspend him was made by the executive council hence proper procedure should be followed and at the right place. Extending handshakes at an AGM meeting does not imply that the issues are over,” said Otieno.

Elsewhere, teachers from Nyanza region have accused NEC members of being used by the government to divide the union in their move to oust Sossion from office.

The teachers, through their executive secretaries drawn from 21 Knut branches across the region,  vowed to send home NEC members being used by politicians.

However, Knut officials from Central region have vowed not to work with Sossion despite a court order reinstating him. Led by their NEC representative Michael Muna, the officials said they no longer recognise him as a union leader. Sossion was suspended in a meeting held on April 30.

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