Night meeting sealed Wilson Sossion ouster

From left front: KNUT National Treasurer John Matiang’i, acting Secretary General Hesbon Otieno and Chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi during a press briefing. (Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard)
Wednesday’s nocturnal activities that finally sealed the fate of embattled Kenya National Union of Teacher (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion can now be revealed.

Backed by intelligence and convinced that Mr Sossion would not go down without a fight, the conspirators to his downfall cleverly crafted and executed a Plan B to lasso their own man.

True to their fears, by the time some of the Executive Council members were traveling from their respective counties on Wednesday evening for Thursday’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Nairobi, the embattled Knut Secretary General had already obtained orders stopping the meeting.

With the court orders served, the meeting derived from a motion dated August 7, and called by Sossion in accordance with Article 9(B)(III) of the Knut Constitution, stood suspended.

SEE ALSO :Row rages over Sossion suspension

But that too, had been taken care of in the carefully crafted plot. Anticipating the court move, the group had secretly initiated a parallel motion and on Tuesday, August 27, about 10 NEC officials filed a separate call for a special NEC meeting, listing different agenda from the initial plans and asked for a meeting to be called on the August 29.

This secret plan was strategically kept away from Sossion’s knowledge so that it did not form the basis of his court orders. The Deputy Secretary General, who is mandated by the Constitution to act in the absence of the Secretary General, was tasked to call the meeting.

“All along we have been meeting, and we know him very well, Sossion is very predictable and we knew he would rush on the last minute to cancel that meeting he had called and that is what caused us to have the fall back plan,” said a senior official of the Union who was key in the effecting the plans.

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Deployed to man offices

When Sossion played his last card on Wednesday evening and suspended the meeting he had called, the rest of the national officials including chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi, Treasurer John Matiang’i Deputy Secretary General Hesborn Otieno Agolla and other members of the National Steering Committee retreated and unleashed their wild card.

SEE ALSO :Top Knut officials plot to kick Sossion out of office

Sources revealed to Saturday Standard that the officials called a secret meeting on Wednesday night, bringing on board other NEC officials who had traveled from upcountry, and which lasted more than four hours, where the plan was perfected.

The meeting went on as another parallel meeting held at a Kilimani joint ostensibly to save Sossion went underway. It is the Kilimani meeting where the embattled Knut secretary general had placed all his hopes as fate was being sealed elsewhere in the city.

“We were aware that police would be deployed to man the offices, and also knew that Sossion’s sympathisers would camp there, but we agreed that we will be resolute and ensure that we hold our meeting, whatever time, but within the course of the day,” said another NEC official.

Yesterday, Omucheyi and Agolla, the latter who was voted to be the acting Secretary General, said that they had not violated the court orders stopping the meeting.

“Our meeting was not based on the letter and motion dated August 7. That is the meeting that was stopped by the Court. The meeting was based on a request that was placed on August 27, and which met all the conditions set by our Constitution,” said Mr Omucheyi.

SEE ALSO :TSC is blackmailing us, claims Sossion

The NEC members said they decided to oust Sossion as he was a liability in negotiating for the teachers welfare, since he was always at loggerheads with the government and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

At their first media briefing where they announced that Sossion will now remain suspended until December when the union will hold the Annual Delegates Conference, to approve the changes, the officials said that the embattled secretary general had strained relationship with almost all people responsible for the welfare of the teachers a move that disadvantaged them.

“Our members are suffering because we have not had a good labour relationship with all those who matter in Government and the TSC. He has used bad language against Education Cabinet Secretary Magoha, ever at loggerheads with the TSC chiefs and even went as far as belittling the office of the President,” said Mr Agolla.

The officials claimed that Sossion had turned into a lone ranger, who was often issuing personal positions on key policy decisions, purporting them to be from the NEC.

“Many are the times that we have had to cover him in the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood, and take his position as having been agreed by the NEC when in the real sense he was issuing personal positions. But we have come to a point where we have said enough is enough, the man now must go,” said Omucheyi.

SEE ALSO :Kuppet registers 18,000 members

Yesterday, the Registrar of Trade Unions E N Gicheha communicated the change of officials at Knut through a letter addressed to Sossion. The embattled secretary general wrote back to Ms Gicheha threatening to institute contempt of court proceedings against her.

Through his lawyer J A Guserwa and Company Advocates, the embattled secretary general warned the Registrar of legal action unless she withdrew the changes.

“We are surprised to learn that your office has purpoted to register change of office, whereas the Employment and Labor Relation’s Court in cause number 569 of 2019, Wilson Sossion vs Wycliffe Omucheyi and 40 others had stopped the meeting that was scheduled to take place on August 29," read the letter.

“Take notice that unless the change of officers is removed and/or withdrawn, we shall move to court to cite you for contempt,” Sossion’s lawyers warned.

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Wilson SossionKnutKenya National Union of Teacher