Retired teachers dismiss Knut for purporting to speak on their behalf

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion

Retired teachers have told off the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) for issuing an ultimatum to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pay them Sh42.3 billion that was recently awarded by court.

Representatives of the over 52,000 ex-teachers said they were no longer members of the union and Knut should stop purporting to be speaking on their behalf.

Addressing a press conference in Nakuru, officials of the Retired Teachers 1997 group which recently won a case entitling them to over Sh42 billion accused Knut of abandoning them in their hour of need.

The group Chairman Joseph Mwenja said the entry of Knut into the fray was unprocedural and opportunistic as the Union was not party to the proceedings before the court.

" For Knut to purport to be championing the cause of the retired teachers in giving the government an ultimatum of 30 days is to say the least, misleading, grossly incorrect, irrelevant and of no consequence," said Mwenja.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion was on Wednesday quoted in a section of the media issuing a 30-day ultimatum to the government to pay the retired teachers the money.

Sossion had asked the AG Githu Muigai to advise the government to expedite the payment as some of the retirees have since died.

But the retired teachers accused Knut of having refused to be enjoined in the case when it was filed ten years ago only to develop interest after they had successfully sued the government.

The group Secretary Gidraph Kimatta said that under article 3 Section nine paragraph two of the Knut Constitution, upon retirement a member immediately ceases to belong to the union.

Kimattta claimed Knut could be plotting to benefit from two per cent commission of their benefits which he said is unacceptable.

The Supreme Court early this month ordered TSC to pay the former teachers after a 10 year court battle.

The money has been accruing interest at the rate of 14 per cent since the initial judgement against TSC was made by Justice David Maraga in 2008. TSC Secretary Nancy Macharia risks arrest and a six-month civil jail for contempt of court.

Mwenja said the court ruling covers teachers who retired between July 1 1997 and June 30 2007 and beneficiaries are required have a letter of permanent appointment from TSC and long term retirement letter from the Pensions Department.