Major split hits giant teachers union

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion Photo:Courtesy
A major split has hit the giant teachers union as two top officials clash over the retirement age.  

The decision by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion to retire national chairman Mudzo Nzili is now threatening to split the 290,000-member union.  

Also retired is Samson Kaguma, the first vice national chairman. Sossion and Nzili have had a sour relationship since Sossion took over as secretary general and have even taken opposing stands in national politics.

Sossion maintained that he has acted within the union's constitution to retire his national chairman even as sources close to Nzili said they will fight back.  

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The secretary general, who is also a Nominated MP, appointed Wycliffe Omuchei as the acting national chairman with effect from next week Thursday.

At the centre of the disagreement is the true age of Nzili, with some leaked identification documents showing he was born in 1958. A national identification card of Nzili seen by Sunday Standard shows he was born in 1958. The card does not have a specific date and month of birth. 

Another identification document of Nzili, shows his passport’s details with May 16, 1958 as his true date of birth. Sunday Standard could not independently verify which of the two the genuine document is.  

When asked to respond, Nzili said: “I have nothing to say. Ask the source.”

“We have had historical confusion on the smooth exits by retiring national officials, some of whom falsified documents in the past to change their age,” said Sossion in a statement to newsrooms.

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He said an amendment to the constitution was effected years back to cure the situation. 

“Based on his age, Nzili should retire on May 16, 2018. And our constitution says an official should proceed on six months terminal leave. This translates to November 16,” said Sossion. 

Sunday Standard has established that while on terminal leave, a national chairman who earns about Sh300, 000 salary will still get his full pay. 

The official is also entitled to full medical cover for 10 years. In addition, he will also get a new car worth Sh13 million. 

KnutWilson SossionMudzo Nzili