The Star (Nairobi)

10 September 2012

Kenya: Kamotho Hits Back At Mutula Over Teachers Pay Deal

The Parliamentary Committee on Education today failed to unlock the deadlock between teachers and the government that has paralysed the public ... ( Resource: Kenyan Teachers Want 1997 Pay Deal Honoured

Former Education minister Joseph Kamotho has hit back at Mutula Kilonzo for alleging that he lied to teachers over a pay hike 15 years ago.

Kamotho, who was a long serving minister in President Moi's government said he never politicised the teacher's issue. While refuting claims by Mutula, that he lied to teachers during 1997 salary increment deal, Kamotho said he honored the deal with the teachers at that time.

"I paid teachers as agreed in their first deal in 1997 and I want Kenyans to know that I never lied in the deal that was entered between teacher's representatives (Knut), the Ministry of Education and Teachers Remuneration Commission," he said. Following the current teachers strike which has paralyzed learning countrywide, Mutula has accused Kamotho of playing games with teachers over the 300 per cent salary increase.

The teachers have downed tools asking the government to honour the completion of a 300 per cent pay hike agreement it entered with them 1n 1997. "I did not lie to teachers over their increment, I have never lied to teachers and what we agreed was that i was to pay them 34 per cent salary hike and I did so," he said yesterday in Kirungu Catholic Church during a memorial service for Mzee Johnston Mwethera in Mathioya.

"I sat down with their (teachers) leaders, TSC (Teachers Service Commission) and we strike a deal which I completely honored," he added while. Kamotho claimed the teachers entered a second deal with president Moi and therefore he should not be blamed for failing to pay them.

"They met with Moi together with TSC and my work as a minister was to gazette the agreement and not to pay up, I later moved to another ministry," he said. Kamotho said the government was to pay teachers a 300 per cent hike in five fiscal years but they refused (1997). He said the teachers went to Moi's home in Kabarak where Moi agree to pay them in three years.

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