, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 10 – The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has now instituted fresh contempt of court proceedings against Kenya National Union of Teachers Union (KNUT) officials after they failed to call off the nationwide teachers strike by Wednesday morning as directed by the Industrial Court.
Through its lawyer Njoroge Mwangi, the commission also wants the officials committed to civil jail for six months for their disobedience of the court order.
Appearing before Justice Linnet Ndolo on Wednesday, Mwangi stated that he had already filed an application under a certificate of urgency to commence the proceedings.
“The application that has been filed this morning is for orders that leave be granted that the petitioner do commence contempt proceedings seeking the committal to civil jail of the officials for the disobedience of court orders dated July 1 2013. Yesterday, you issued very specific orders and they were supposed to be in court but they are not in,” he said.
KNUT lawyer Chacha Odera however pointed out that his clients had not been served with a notice of motion to enable them prepare properly for the case.
“Once he files the notice, he can serve me. It is something which ideally should be served to the union officials but for purposes of these proceedings and not to look like we are trying to scuttle this process, he can serve me personally,” he said.
Justice Ndolo directed that proper procedure should be followed from both sides since the case was a sensitive one.
“You know contempt proceedings are criminal in nature and you are asking for a custodial sentence. So we do need to follow the law. I will give you leave so that you file your application as per the proper procedure and I do not think it will take too long to draw out,” she pointed out.
She has now set the date for the hearing of the new application for Monday next week.
On Tuesday, the court gave KNUT 24 hours to call off the strike failure to which the contempt case will be reinstated.
The union officials however defied the orders stating that they will not be cowed by threats from the government.
Attempts at reviving fresh negotiations also reached a dead end on Tuesday after KNUT officials once again stormed out of talks with TSC.
The officials maintain that the government needs to up its offer from Sh17 billion before the talks can resume.
KNUT insists that its demands of Sh47 billion arrears from the 1997 deal must be honoured.
The union’s assistant treasurer Richard Kibagendi further accused Labour Secretary Kazungu Kambi of not doing enough to end the deadlock.
He vowed that teachers will remain on strike until their demands are met.