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Knut picks Sossion as secretary general, Nzili lands chairman’s seat

NAIROBI
By KIBIWOTT KOROSS | November 9th 2013

By KIBIWOTT KOROSS

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has settled on Wilson Sossion as the secretary general, swapping places with his rival Mudzo Nzili, who is to be the union’s chairman. Mr Sossion is the current chairman and Mr Nzili acting secretary general; both had announced their candidature for the post of secretary general. The position was left vacant following the death of David Okuta Osiany.

In a delegates’ meeting held on Thursday at Knut conference hall, the 212 delegates endorsed Sossion for the post of secretary general and Nzili as chair, ending the stalemate and confusion between the two camps.

The national executive council had made plans for the 56th annual delegates conference, which is to be held between December 8 and 10 in Nakuru when the idea was arrived at.

When contacted yesterday, Sossion said: “Yes, we have an agreement that I will be the secretary general and my brother Nzili becomes the chair.

It was brought to the floor by the delegates and it was debated for long and a solution was reached.” Nzili had earlier vowed not to step down for Sossion. He said union members had resolved that he should be the automatic successor of Okuta, and maintained that he would seek the endorsement of the delegates during elections.

Teachers’ union

Sources said the meeting that started at around 8am and went late into the evening saw delegates from most parts of the country supporting Sossion. “Few members supported Nzili and from the look of things, it dawned on him (Nzili) that he would not win in the December elections,” said a delegate close to Sossion who declined to be named.

Had both of them vied and one lost that could have forced the loser out of Knut leadership. Nzili could not be reached for comment, as his phone was off when The Standard On Saturday called. Nzili’s team was riding on the union’s traditions, which could see him ascend to the post of secretary general.

The union has a tradition where the seat of the secretary general is reserved for members from the Coast, Nyanza and Nairobi regions, while the seat of the chairman is reserved for members from Western, Central and the Rift Valley. Some delegates want this tradition changed. It is not clear now on what will happen to those who had been drawn in both line ups, since everything has been reversed.

Clement Omollo, who is currently a member of the National Executive Committee was poised to take over as the deputy secretary in Nzili’s line up. Omollo has been opposing Sossion’s candidature for the post of secretary general, insisting on the traditions of the union. Sossion said there were no discussions on other posts during the meeting.

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