Kenya National Union of Teachers delegates Friday picked their national officials in a tightly-contested election.
Acting national chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi was elected unopposed during the annual delegates conference at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.
First and the second vice chairperson seats were also up for grabs. The top positions are allocated to achieve regional balance, and those elected get to have a say on how cash collected from Knut members and its investments is used.
Knut traditionally reserves the chairperson position for the Western region, first vice chair (Central), second vice chair (Coast) and assistant secretary general (Nyanza).
But Collins Oyuu of Nyanza broke the tradition, beating Nyeri branch chairman Patrick Karinga to the first vice chair post after gunning more than 590 votes.
Oyuu, who hitherto served national assistant secretary general, allegedly enjoyed the support of Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion while Karinga had the backing of national treasurer John Matiang’i.
Sossion had, however, declined to be drawn into the campaigns, saying the decision lies with the delegates. Oyuu recently defended his move to vie for the post citing he had the interest of the union at heart.
Rosalina Mukanjala was elected the second vice chairperson with 400 votes. The union’s constitution stipulates that a candidate wins by a simple majority. “I am happy today for the support and I promise to work for the teachers diligently,” she said.
Sossion and Omucheyi promised to work with the new team and appealed to all teachers to support them. A commotion ensued before the elections kicked off when some delegates claimed their names were missing from the list. They vowed to disrupt the exercise, but police officers managed to contain the situation.
Each region is represented by a number of delegates— Central (217), Nairobi (44), Coast (140), Eastern (393), North Eastern (21), Nyanza (330), Rift Valley (503) and Western (239)—during the elections.