14 November 2017

Kenya: Ministry Warns KNUT Against Polls to Replace Nzili

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Nairobi — The Labour Ministry has warned the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) against holding by-elections to replace Chairman Mudzo Nzili, saying he has not attained the retirement age.

A statement from the ministry pointed out that it would be unlawful to proceed with the planned by-elections scheduled for December 14 since no positions are vacant.

The statement said that the ministry has received letters of objection from Nzili, and the 1st Vice Chairman Samson Kaguma who both stated that they have not attained the mandatory retirement age.

"We wish to inform you that we have received letters of objection by the Chairman, Mr Mudzo Nzili, and the 1st Vice Chairman Mr Samson Kaguma who have both indicate that they are yet to attain the mandatory age of retirement of 60 years stipulated by the Union constitution," it stated.

"In light of the above and having referred to Article 18 (c) of the union constitution it would be unlawful to proceed with the planned by-elections scheduled for 14th December 2017 since the positions are not yet vacant. For further details on this matter, you are advised to please contact the Registrar of Trade Unions."

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion earlier told Capital FM News that there was no bad blood between him and the National Chairman saying that the matter was being blown out of proportion and that the union was following procedure as set out in the union's constitution.

"There is no war between me and Nzili. We will hold a meeting where we will discuss the matter that has been highly sensationalised. The issues we will be discussing is procedural. I will be paying him his wages until May next year and then he will retire like other members," he said. "In the meantime, his deputy will hold the position before we hold another election as enshrined in our constitution," he said.

He was speaking ahead of a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting that among other things was to discuss the by elections to be conducted during the Annual Delegates Conference set for next month.

A procedural letter by Sossion asking Nzili to proceed on terminal leave pending retirement sparked a standoff that has ignited wars at the heart of the union.

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