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Jubilee Government should uphold the rule of law and pay the teachers

UREPORT
By John Harrington Ndeta | September 21st 2015

As a civilised nation and a people committed to living in accordance with the rules of universal equity and fairness, one of the tenets of our life is to be engaged in seeing  JUSTICE done in society. The others include responsible stewardship of resources of CREATION, serving HUMAN BEINGS in all circumstances, bearing witness to TRUTH and showing what it means to be a RECONCILED AND a LIBERATED COMMUNITY in a despairing world.

All these aspects of living are central to any society that calls itself modern, developed and just as Kenya would wish to identify itself; but today let’s explore the tenet of Justice in view of the ongoing teachers strike.

Education is central to the future of any society. It is indeed one of the main pillars of development underpinning Kenya’s VISION 2030. To see cows in class, school going children on the streets engaging in all manner of evils and the teachers too on the streets demonstrating, demanding what they consider their rightful award from the country’s judicial systems is a cause for worry.

Kenyan’s of good will are indeed a worried lot and so should the leadership of this country. The President must spent sleepless nights and so should his government officials; especially those in the ministry of education trying to find a lasting solution to this matter. As a matter of fact, it is three weeks now and from the look of things, the strike will last the whole of September. This is because the courts have already decided that a ruling on the legality of the teachers strike will be on September 27th.

But even as we await for this ruling, it is important to revisit the whole question justice. Kenya’s national Anthem states that “Justice be our Shield and Defender.” Upholding the rule of the law is therefore a very important aspect of the Kenyan society and it is sad that the Government of Uhuru Kenyatta who swore to defend and uphold the constitution of Kenya, which is the supreme law of this land is in flagrant spurn of the court ruling on this matter.

Injustice; for me could be defined as sinning against a people due to their structural vulnerability. Structural vulnerability takes the form of material poverty, physical weakness, social isolation, political powerlessness and economic disfranchise. Continued subjugation of teachers of this country compared to other societal cadres ought to come to an end. I personally applause the courts for standing with teachers for once.

It has been argued that paying out the 50-60 percent award to teachers is untenable economically. But the Government of Kenya set a precedence in the past with Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of County Assembly (MCAs) unilaterally increasing their salaries and allowances to unimaginable levels. The cost of devolution as it stands today  is way beyond what was anticipated due to duplication of roles with the national government and money-spinning salaries and allowances.

The Jubilee Government as the custodian and implementer of the new constitution has failed to reign in on open greed amongst National and County Government officers and Public Servants; a trend that has shown not just the teachers, but also the nurses, the security officers among other civil servants that more salaries is the way to go.

If material gain is more important that service to a politician, a national government public officer or even a county government public officers, then it must apply across all the professional, fields and employment levels of the society; teachers not discriminated against.

The Government has no other way but to pay the teachers and fulfil the whole law. If the National Assembly, the senate and the country assemblies made a decision to increase their salaries against the set scales by the salaries and remuneration commission; then the Judiciary is in order to uphold the salary demands by the teacher of this country.

If the political elite determined their own pay and the Government pays them, why not honor a court ruling and pay the teacher to ensure justice for all?

 

The Writer is Communications Manager

CMS-Africa

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