, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 11 –The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has named Wycliffe Omucheyi Etole as its acting Chairman to take over from Mudzo Nzili who started his terminal leave pending retirement.
Etole who take charge pending the Annual Delegates Conference where the two officials will be replaced in a by-election.
“Etole shall shall assume office as the acting national chairman precisely on 16 November, 2017 and preside over the Annual Delegates Conference,” KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said, in defence of the controversial move to retire union officials before the mandatory age of 60 years.
“The said officers shall be invited as guests at the ADC alongside other retired former officers and shall be granted time to make farewell statements,” says Sossion, who is also a nominated Member of Parliament aligned to the Orange Democratic Party.
Referring to the early retirement of Nzili and the Vice Chairman Samson Kaguma, Sossion has said amendments in the Union’s constitution allows the Secretary-General, as the Chief Executive of the Union, to send union officials on mandatory terminal leave, six months to the date of retirement.
Nzili is due to retire on 16 May 2018 while Kaguma was to officially retire ion 2 April 2018.
The teachers union regulations prescribes that officials shall cease holding office upon attaining the age of sixty, resigning by writing to the NEC or branch executive council, dies or is removed by a vote at an Annual Delegates Conference or Special Conference.
“We have had historical confusion on the decent and smooth exits by retiring national officials some of whom have falsified documents in the past to change their ages,” Sossion said in a letter copied to the National Executive Committee.
To rectify this anomaly, Sossion says, an amendment to the KNUT constitution – Article VI (5) – allows his office to execute the terminal leave pending retirement.
Sossion further says the issue has been deliberately blown out of proportion on social media creating confusion in KNUT.
Sossion has further cautioned branches to “strictly adhere” to the provision of the KNUT constitution on retirement and “should not be negotiated for whatever reasons”.