KNUT officials to know jail fate Monday

July 17, 2013 1:25 pm
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The charges were brought against the officials by the Teachers Service Commission which accused them of disobeying court orders, despite being served by court process server Alex Mutua/FILE
The charges were brought against the officials by the Teachers Service Commission which accused them of disobeying court orders, despite being served by court process server Alex Mutua/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 17 – The Industrial Court is set to rule on Monday whether Kenya National Union of Teachers chairman Wilson Sossion and his acting Secretary General Mudzo Nzili will be jailed for contempt of court.

The charges were brought against the officials by the Teachers Service Commission which accused them of disobeying court orders, despite being served by court process server Alex Mutua.

Through lawyer Chacha Odera, KNUT on the other hand tore into the competence of Mutua saying that he never followed the proper procedure in serving the orders as required by law.

He described Mutua as incompetent, saying at no time was he seen at KNUT headquarters and described his affidavit as fictitious.

“The court process server did not do his job. Records from KNUT offices show that at no time was he in the building at the time he is purporting in his affidavit. This shows that whatever he has indicated in his affidavit is not true and so it should be disregarded completely by the court,” he stated.

TSC lawyer Francis Njoroge however, stated that this could not be the basis for the officials to disregard the court order as it had further been served through the local dailies.

“Sossion and Nzili had the power to call off the strike. This is even mentioned in the Constitution that KNUT purports to be following. Despite this, they took the liberty to ignore the orders that the court had issued in favour of the one by the National Executive Council,” he stated.

Justice Linnet Ndolo directed Sossion and Nzili to ensure they are present during the ruling on Monday.

“So I will deliver my ruling on Monday 22nd at 10.30am. I will expect the personal attendance of Mr Sossion and Nzili. Court is adjourned,” she ruled.

TSC also wants the teachers’ union fined Sh20 million and all its assets attached for failing to call off the teachers’ strike which has now crippled learning for the fourth week running.

The commission had told the court that it had documentary evidence showing that it followed due process while serving KNUT with court orders to end their strike.

Teachers this week defied another order by Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi to go back to class and instead dared their employer to sack them.

TSC has already invited all trained teachers who are unemployed to apply for jobs to replace the striking teachers.

On Monday, the commission drew Justice Ndolo’s attention to an affidavit by court process server Mutua which showed that the union officials were properly served yet chose to ignore the court order.

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