The Ministry of Labour has stopped the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) from replacing its two top officials next month.
In a letter to Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, Hellen Apiyo on behalf of labour Commissioner said the Ministry had received objections from Mr Mudzo Nzili and Samson Kaguma who said they are yet to attain the mandatory retirement age of 60years as stipulated by the union constitution.
"In light of the above and having referred to article 18(c) of the union constitution, it would be unlawful to proceed with the planed by-elections scheduled for December 14, since the positions are not yet vacant," said the Labour commissioner.
The union was directed to seek further details on the matter from the registrar of trade union.
Mr Nzili will retire on May 16 while his deputy Samson Kaguma on April 2 next year and they have been granted six months mandatory terminal leave prior to the said dates.
Mr Wickliffe Omucheyi was appointed on Sunday to replace Mr Nzili.
Mr Sossion who is on Mombasa for the union's National executive meeting ahead of the annual delegates conference criticized the decision.
"The Ministry of labour cannot purport to run trade union. The union must be allowed be allowed to engage in their activities within their constitution," said Mr Sossion.
He said the first stop point for any complain by a union leader is the leadership of the union and you cannot petition the government to defend you, if you seek government protection is suspect.
Mr Sossion said the issue will now be tablet before the 44-member NEC for direction.