The Star (Nairobi)

5 September 2012

Kenya: Two Teachers' Union Chiefs Charged for Disturbance

Two senior Knut officials in Kitui were yesterday charged with creating a disturbance. County Jonathan Mutambu and Joseph Makuthu allegedly disrupted an examination at the Kitui Teachers Training College on Monday when teachers started countrywide strike over pay and allowances.

They denied the offence and were released on a Sh10,000 cash bail each. The Kitui principal magistrate Beatrice Kimemia set the hearing for October 31.

Mtambu and Makuthu allegedly threatened to eject school headteachers who were writing a management examination from the Kenya Education Management Institute. Makuthu is a Knut national executive committee member.

They allegedly led teachers in storming xamination rooms at the Kitui Teachers College and tearing exam papers. The police fired teargas canisters at the teachers who took scampered in various directions. Mutambu and Makuthu were then cornered and arrested. They were bundled into a police vehicle and taken to Kitui police station where they were held briefly before being released in the evening.

And as the Knut strike entered its second day yesterday secondary school students were seen heading to their respective school. This was happening even as the Kitui kuppet executive secretary Kioko Mutia cautioned parents against releasing their children since teachers were not available.

"I am cautioning parents not to release their children to schools as teachers will not be available to attend to them. They will be exposing them to danger of indulging in indiscipline and should wait until the strike is over," cautioned Kioko.

Speaking at his Kitui town office, Kioko said that the Kuppet strike kicks of this morning and therefore no teacher will be available to attend to learners at all secondary schools. "Instead of incurring a lot of unnecessary cost, the parents should wait and send children to school once the strike is over," said Kioko.

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