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Knut's Wilson Sossion tells Raila Odinga to abandon political rallies for the sake of peace

COUNTIES
By ONESMUS NZIOKA | June 22nd 2014

Makueni, Kenya: Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion now wants CORD leader Raila Odinga and his team to abandon the planned country wide political rallies to avoid plunging the country in a bloodbath.

Speaking at Sultan Hamud Primary school, Kilome when he presided over the regional education day Saturday, Sossion asked Odinga to scale down his political activities and pursue Dialogue through the established forums and institutions to avoid more tensions.

“When at one time I was leading a teachers strike, my brother Raila Odinga asked me not to pursue that route if a solution was to be found. Now I ask him as a senior citizen and statesman, he should scale down his political activities in the country and find other ways of pushing for a Dialogue for the sake of the children and citizens of this country,” said Sossion.

“Kenyans can talk and there are forums and institutions that can amply facilitate that. We think this is an alternative route that should be taken if we are to stop creating more tensions and ethnic wars in the country. This is not the time for such if we all know what happened in 1992, 1997, and in 2008. We had lost the country in 2008 only to be rescued by the International Community and personally I would never wish to see Kenya walk that route again," said the Secretary General.

Sossion said some leaflets seen in Nakuru carrying hatred messages is a virus that can spread any time and spark off ethnic wars, warning leaders to take it as a cue that should push them more to the table for talks as one way of giving Kenyans an opportunity to enjoy their hard earned freedom.

And without mentioning names, Sossion said the Lamu terrorist attacks were not the work of Al Shabaab insurgents, but the work of local terror syndicates bordering on ethnic cleansing.

"I want to believe the Government's position that the perpetrators of Mpeketoni attacks are not the said Al Shabaab terrorists but local syndicates with political interests, bordering on ethnic cleansing," he said.

He said a teacher and a pupil were killed in the attacks and he was feeling compelled to speak for the children of this country who have often been exposed to heinous atrocities, nipping in the bud their promising future lives.

Sossion criticised the government for allocating colossal sums of money to security and other not so much priority areas above education, saying education is the key to ending the insecurity problems in the country.

"The country would not need to invest heavily in security if quality education had been given priority. Education is the key security against insecurity. Security in this country will only be achieved if we improve the quality of education for our learners and prepare them for serious nation building," he said.

He said KNUT has kicked off a campaign to unite all the stake holders in the education sector and that in less than two years, Kenya will have a single union of teachers from Nursery to University.

Sossion said it is high time the education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi listened to the union's advocacy lest he be swept by its strong currents.

"The top Government education management should throw out blame games over the radical changes needed in the sector. What is wrong if I sit with Kaimenyi and tell him what needs to be done. That more teachers should be employed and paid well. By doing so I will not reduce him to a lesser man if he agrees to talk with KNUT," He said.

Among the radical changes Sossion said the Union is pushing for include waiving of examination fees for KCPE and KCSE candidates beginning next year, employment of 100,000 teachers, lowering the per class teacher-pupil ration to 1:35, reducing the number of lessons taught by teachers per week to 35 for primary teachers and 27 for secondary teachers.

He said this is possible if the government reduces corruption and wasteful expenditures rampant in the system.

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