Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) boss Wilson Sossion has slammed the Teachers Service Commission over a circular that discouraged teachers from engaging in politics.
According to Sossion, the distribution of the circular was inappropriate coming at a time when the country is dealing with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
The KNUT boss further intimated that calling on teachers to not take part in political engagements is a violation of their rights.
“Calling on teachers to abstain from taking part in political engagements and accordingly, shun national political activities amounts to gross violation of the fundamental rights of teachers,” said Sossion.
The circular was issued to the TSC Headquarters, Directors, Regional Directors, County and Sub-county Directors, Principals of Colleges and high schools, headteachers and commission employees.
It detailed the information alluding that any employee who is currently holding a political office or engages in politics will be up for disciplinary action terming it a violation of the law.
“In congruence with the spirit of national values and good governance under the Constitution which includes impartiality and political neutrality, it is vital for all employees of the commission, to adhere to strict observance of the law in respect by abstaining from taking part in political engagements,” the circular signed by TSC CEO Nancy Macharia read.
Last year, TSC officially terminated the contract of Sossion following his nomination in parliament by ODM.
Through a gazette notice dated October 29, 2019, the commission deregistered Sossion as a teacher and barred him from teaching in any school whether public or private.
“The Teachers Service Commission has removed the name of the individual named herein (Wilson Sossion) from the register of teachers. Further, under the law, the individual cannot engage in teaching in any school,” read the notice.
Sossion was nominated to parliament by the ODM party and was under pressure to turn down the offer.
However, he went ahead and accepted the nomination with the TSC arguing that his acceptance to parliament by a partisan political party did not correspond with his position as a public officer and a teacher in this case.
The union wanted him to resign as the Secretary-General with court battles and union wars planned to have him ousted out.
He was however reinstated by the Labor and Employment Court hence resuming his position and holding his stand.
Speaking to a local daily concerning the gazette notice, Sossion stated that the termination of his employment as a teacher did not by any chance interfere with rights in the Teachers’ Union adding that he still holds his position and powers.