The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is appealing to its members in Machakos to turn out in large numbers during its forthcoming elections slated for Saturday.
Addressing the media at Mwala sub-county KKNUT offices Monday, the county’s union Executive Secretary Moses Mutiso announced that all the necessary measures have been put in place (including Covid-19 adherence protocols) to ensure the exercise is a success.
Mutiso said unlike in the past when members used to queue up in order to elect their preferred candidate, this time voters will be required to observe strict Covid-19 protocols including but not limited to using one’s personal items such as pens.
“We call upon our members to come out in large numbers and vote for their preferred candidates in the forthcoming elections planned for this weekend. Every member shall be required to come with his or her Identity Card together with his payslip for the month of June 2019. We shall also ensure all the recommended Covid -19 protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of this pandemic,” said Mutiso who hopes to retain his seat in the branch polls.
The official who was flanked by the union branch treasurer Joseph Muli and chair Francis Mathura said much of the gains being enjoyed by teachers across the country were as a result of the many battles Knut has waged against successive governments over the years in fighting for tutors’ welfare and therefore the need to continue safeguarding the stability of the union.
The nationwide elections come at the backdrop of vicious infighting for control of the once giant union pitting the current Secretary-General Wilson Sossion against a section of members who want him kicked out of the union.
The disgruntled members are blaming Sossion for the woes currently facing the union whose membership has shrunk from an all-time high of 180,000 teachers to a paltry 50,000 with earnings dropping from Sh144 million to Sh40 million annually thanks to a steady migration of teachers to the rival Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).
KUPPET carried out its election on Saturday where Musembi Katuku was re-elected unopposed as the Machakos branch secretary general.
This is the fifth time Katuku has won the seat since he was first elected in 1988.
In previous polls, Katuku has always trounced his opponents including one election where he won unopposed.
During Saturday’s elections, a total of 1,000 tutors drawn from the nine sub-counties unanimously endorsed Katuku to serve the union for another five-year term.
In his acceptance speech, Katuku thanked the members for having given him another mandate to lead them and promised his unwavering readiness to serve.
“My reelection today is a clear indication by our members of the faith they have in me in leading them for another five years. I sincerely appreciate this level of trust for showing their trust and do promise to continue offering my undivided service in spearheading their rights including engaging the Teachers Service Commission as far as any CBAs is concerned,” promised the official.
Katuku is the eldest brother to former Water Cabinet Minister John Katuku who is currently the Machakos Maendeleo Chap Chap Senatorial flag bearer in the March 18 by-election.