NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 17 – The case where the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) wants Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Chairman Wilson Sossion and acting Secretary General Mudzo Nzili jailed for contempt was due back at the Industrial Court on Wednesday morning.
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.
“How is it possible your ladyship that when you issue an order the national executive council of a body simply registered under a ministry as a trade union is the one to direct the teachers not to obey your orders? You are a constitutional authority your honour!” TSC lawyer Francis Njoroge had pointed out on Monday.
The commission further 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 Linnet Ndolo’s attention to an affidavit by court process server Alex Mutua which showed that the union officials were properly served yet chose to ignore the court order.
Through its lawyer, the commission pointed out that Sossion and Nzili made remarks to the effect that they would not call off the strike.
Njoroge had stated that the teachers ignored the court process by embarking on demonstrations while flying banners that stated that ‘we cannot eat court orders.’
Earlier, KNUT lawyer Chacha Odera tried to prove that due process wasn’t followed in serving the union and that its officials should not be cited for contempt of court as they have not breached any order.
He also sought to prove that orders to resume work only apply to teachers and not union officials.
The top decision-making organ of KNUT had earlier rejected the government’s offer of Sh17 billion.
Nzili said the National Executive Council (NEC) will only take a vote to end the strike once the government puts a better offer on the table.