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IEBC to oversee KNUT in-person elections

EDUCATION
By Augustine Oduor | June 24th 2021

Kenya Nation Union of Teachers (Knut) has appointed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to oversee its elections.

The union has also agreed to conduct in-person voting after the Ministry of Health okayed the exercise.

“The elections will be held in strict compliance with the Covid-19 guidelines as issued by the Ministry of Health to avoid transmission of the dreaded virus within the delegates who will be attending the Special Delegates Conference,” said Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.

Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache gave approval for in-person voting after Knut issued elaborate measures to check against the spread of the virus at the polling venue.

Part of the measures includes a walk-in-walk-out voting pattern to avoid crowding.

Delegates from 12 counties have also be advised to travel on the election day to cast their votes and return home.

This will apply to delegates from Nakuru, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Nyeri, Murang'a, Kirinyanga, Embu, Machakos, Makueni, Narok, and Kajiado will vote and leave same day.

No night meetings and campaigns whatsoever will be conducted as delegates will remain in their hotel rooms.

Delegates will also remain in their buses until they are called upon to vote. And no campaigns will be entertained and strictly no posters will be allowed.

A total of 1,878 delegates from eight regional branches will vote.

The central region was allocated 211 delegates, Coast 139, Eastern 392, Nairobi 43, North Eastern 25, Nyanza 327, Western 238 and Rift Valley 503.

However, all candidates wishing to contest in the Saturday election must download, print and present their nomination papers at the venue of the election by close of business tomorrow.

“All those desiring to contest various seats should submit their nominations for candidature between 8am and 5pm Friday to the returning officer at the venue. Any late submissions shall not be accepted,” said Sossion.

Knut Deputy Secretary-General Hesbon Otieno said the nomination process and timeliness are acceptable by all contestants and the election will be done in full compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.

Those wishing to face off with Sossion in the elections have a chance to officially express their interest by the close of business tomorrow (June 25).

So far, acting union national chairman Collins Oyuu and Kericho Executive Secretary Stanley Mutai have expressed interest to dislodge Sossion.

In his media briefing, Sossion said the elections will be about protecting teachers’ independence and challenging State interference.

“Whatever the case, I will be the secretary-general by 9am on election day,” said Sossion.

He said recent union elections have been marred by State interference and cautioned that the Knut exercise will not be devoid of external forces.

Sossion said he appointed IEBC to preside over the union elections after indications pointed at possible meddling of the voting exercise by the government.

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