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Operations at TSC threatened as officers’ tenures finally lapse

Updated Thursday, June 13th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3
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Kenya: Critical functions of the Teachers Service Commission will be suspended from tomorrow when the terms of all but one commissioner come to an end.

Only former Nairobi School principal Cleopas Tirop, who was sworn in by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga last month, will remain in office at the Commission, which administers the 278,000-strong teaching workforce in public primary and secondary schools countrywide.

The departures mean, among other things, that the legality of the TSC can be challenged in court.

The Constitution requires independent commissions to comprise no less than three commissioners and no more than nine.

On the exit list are commissioners David Kuno, Rose Mogoi Sereti, Meshack Llanziva, Monica Kilonzo and Lucy Njeru. They will vacate their offices by June 14, TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni confirmed.

The impending crisis comes at a time when Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is planning a nationwide strike after the House failed to factor in Sh50 billion to promote teachers and settle pending allowances.

Knut has summoned its National Executive Council to make a “major decision” if MPs fails to include funds to cater for their interests.

Lack of quorum

The exit of the officers means that discipline cases and promotions will not be conducted for lack of quorum as it is the responsibility of these commissioners to conduct interviews.

Policy formulations, approval of internal appointments and audited documents among other oversight roles played by the commissioners will also be suspended.

A court ruling barred the appointment of two commissioners and the chairperson after a Mr Abdi Sitar Yusuf moved to court to challenge the entire appointment procedure.

Justice Majanja directed that the President nominate “fresh” names from shortlisted and interviewed candidates in accordance with section 8(11) of the TSC Act 2012 to fill the three slots.

The first list of nominees presented to Parliament was rejected. Another set of names that was approved by MPs was also nullified after Sitar moved to court.

He has threatened to move to court again if the three names are advertised in the coming recruitment.

The list comprised Kahindi Ziro James, Fredrick Haga Ochieng’ and Adan Sheikh Abdullahi.

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