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Knut rejects TSC bid to impose fee on licences

BUSINESS
By | September 27th 2010

By Victor Nzuma and Joel Okwayo

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has vowed to mobilise teachers to go on strike should the Government compel them to pay for practicing licences.

Leading officials of more than 20 branches drawn from Machakos, Makueni, Kitui, Meru South and Nairobi counties, the assistant Secretary-General Xavier Nyamu said teachers would no longer allow the Government to take them for granted and that the move was unfair.

And speaking separately, Knut Chairman George Wesonga said the union would not allow the plan to be implemented

"Teachers are professionals whose accreditation is done by TSC. The issue of renewal is strange and we will reject the move," said Mr Wesonga.

Intern teachers

Nyamu spoke at a branch annual general meeting hosted by the local executive secretary Albanus Mutisya at the Machakos Municipal Hall attended by hundreds of teachers.

At the same time, he said the union would also pursue the issue of employing teachers on contracts.

"The action by the Government to employ teachers on casual basis is a clear testimony that the leadership does not value education,’’ said Nyamu.

The official warned the approach might affect the teachers’ morale.

Wesonga said subjecting teachers to renewal of practising licence amounts to introduction of

performance contracts.

Concerning the Knut leadership, Wesonga said he would ensure a smooth transition in the union once he retires.

Teachers have mounted pressure on top officials in the union who have reached retirement age to quit the office.

Union officials from Western Province proposed Mumias Knut branch Executive Secretary John Wesonga, his Emuhaya and Busia counterparts Wycliffe Omucheyi and Godfrey Odongo for top seats in the union.

Mr Wesonga declared his interest to contest the post of the national Secretary-General.

Speaking during the Mumias branch annual general meeting at Matungu Primary School, the official urged the locals to support his bid for the seat.

"I am ready to replace our outgoing Secretary-General Lawrence Majali," he said.

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