, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 18 – The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) says it raised Sh1.5 million through M-PESA donations during the teachers’ strike which was wired to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) accounts.
The Coalition’s Management Committee Co-Chairperson James Orengo stated that the ‘Teachers Solidarity Account ‘ was not intended to be a substitute to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) payment to teachers.
“Kenyans of goodwill contributed from their hearts ranging from Sh10, Sh50 and more. They knew what the teachers were going through and understood our appeal to them in-spite of attempts by our detractors including the media to discredit the spirit. As a result, and in spirit of kutoa ni moyo, usambe ni utajiri, Kenyans raised over Sh1.5 million which has been wired into the respective accounts of the KNUT and KUPPET to lessen their legal commitment,” Orengo told a news conference Wednesday.
Controversy emerged after MPs from the ruling Jubilee Coalition questioned the ownership and motive of the money transfer account.
The National Alliance (TNA) Chairman Johnson Sakaja accused the Opposition of extorting money from the public to fund their 2017 campaigns.
Leading mobile phone provider, Safaricom clarified that indeed the pay bill number which was once used by British airline Virgin Atlantic, before it was registered with CORD.
The Siaya County Senator pointed out that it was aimed at helping the unions with the planning and logistics during the strike period.
“Contrary to claims by our antagonists, the initiative was not in any way a substitute for TSC’s mandate of paying teachers. This was just a stopgap measure to help the unions cater for logistical demands and obligations,” he stated.
The initiative was launched during a rally at Uhuru Park, in Nairobi on September 23, after the government said it did not have Sh17 billion needed to grant teachers their 50 to 60 percent salary increment.
During the launch of the process, CORD leader Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka led the push by sending Sh100,000 each to the account.
Teachers went on a five-week strike in September to agitate the effecting of the increase.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has since asked TSC to consider paying the teachers their September pay after he initiated fresh pay negotiations between the teachers unions and their employer.