Nominated MP and KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion is under pressure to resign as Knut Secretary General since he is already nominated Member of Parliament. However, Sossion says he will not relinquish his position as the secretary-general the Kenya National Union of Teachers since there is no law that is against him occupying the two positions.
Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie on Wednesday asked Mr Sossion and other 10 trade union leaders who won elective seats to vacate office. This comes barely less than a month when Mr. Sossion was in the frontline in pushing of the retirement of the union’s Chairman Mudzo Nzili to retire despite the time of him retiring had not expired. And now it’s the Secretary General’s time to go through what the chairman went through and it’s like it hasn’t been a level field since just as Nzili, he is also reluctant to leave the office.
Though Mr Sossion on Thursday warned the Labour ministry and the government against interfering with trade union matters. He similarly accused Ms Kandie of playing politics in a bid to split and weaken the giant teachers union-KNUT. “I am not going anywhere. This is a trade union not a government entity. I am the Knut secretary-general. Let the delegates decide,” Mr Sossion said.
Additionally, some of the union members from Mombasa said they were ready to defend the ODM lawmaker, who has been in the frontline in defending the teachers from oppression especially as far as the salaries increment is concerned. Knut acting Chairman Wycliffe Omucheni defended the situation and said teachers will not be divided by the government. “This is a ploy. Don’t let it divide us. We must preach solidarity and be unified. No one will divide this giant union,” he said.
However, a section of disgruntled delegates from the Coast aligned with former Mudzo Nzili, former Knut chairman who was forced on leave, said they would push until Mr Sossion vacates office as the KNUT boss. “We agree with the gazette notice. We want him out,” said Kitu Gwengwele, Knut Coast spokesman.
The gazette notice also affects Union of Kenya Civil Servants secretary general Tom Odege who was elected MP for Nyatike constituency and KUPPET chairman Omboko Milemba was also asked to leave. He won the Emuhaya MP seat in the August 8 general election.