NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – Lawrence Majali has been elected the new Secretary General (SG) of the giant teachers’ movement, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).
Mr Majali who has been the acting SG trounced his sole opponent William Ohonde by 467 votes during the union’s Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday in Mombasa. Mr Majali garnered 1,154 votes against Mr Ohonde’s 687 votes.
Mr Majali was the deputy SG but was elevated to the acting capacity in September after Francis Ng’an’ga’s retirement. He becomes the first chief executive of the union from Coast Province since its inception in 1957. The trade union represents over 200,000 teachers across the country.
David Okuta took the post of deputy Secretary General while that of Assistant Secretary General went to Xavier Nyamu. Geremano Nyaga took over the post of the second national trustee of the union beating.
The 51st Annual Delegates Conference was presided over by the Commissioner of Labour Isaiah Kirigua under tight security with anti riot police squad taking strategic positions.
The election of Mr Majali comes in the wake of renewed confrontation between the union and the government over a pending pay increase for teachers. Mr Majali has been leading the KNUT’s delegation in the negotiations. KNUT has dismissed government’s proposal to spread the increases over a five year period.
The union has threatened to mobilise its members for a strike in January should the government fail to give in to their demands. Reports however indicate that negotiations are still ongoing.
In his acceptance speech Mr Majali said he would push on the government to implement the salary increments soonest.