Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) is planning to pounce on its embattled rival in a mass recruitment drive that targets to enlist members weary of Knut’s power struggles.
Sensing a weakening of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) amid internal power struggles, Kuppet seeks to capitalize on the crisis by recruiting some its members.
“We want to wish them well and pray that the [leadership crisis] ends soon, but we are not going to let the rare opportunity pass us by because when any war erupts, you must stabilize own home by absorbing enough soldiers. That’s why we are going to absorb the teachers in a bid to strengthen the union,” said Kuppet’s Chairman Omboko Milemba.
Knut, which has about 193,000 members, seems ready for the taking as leadership struggles and stormy fight with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) threatens to tear apart the vibrant union.
Union members edged out Knut’s Secretary-General Wilson Sossion in a boardroom coup last week despite the unionist going to court to stop Knut’s top council from meeting to discuss his ouster.
But Sossion accuses TSC of holding the National Executive Council ransom, demanding his ejection in exchange for the release of Knut union fees which have been withheld since August.
Kuppet leaders linked the woes bedeviling their sister union to failure hold regular elections.
“It’s so unfortunate that Knut whose members want us to stand with them were the same people who reported us to Kiambu Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the chairman and I had to report to the DCI over a struggle for membership,” said Kuppet’s Secretary-General Akello Misori.
The Kuppet chairman urged his secretary-general to ensure he capitalizes on the Knut leadership crisis to recruit some of their members.
“You must get members for Kuppet especially now that Knut is engulfed in confusion. Pick them, then we shall analyse later where we are at after the storms ends,” said Mr Milemba.
But Mr Milemba, who is also the Emuhaya MP, warned members of three bills before the National Assembly, that if enacted would weaken teachers’ union.
He warned that the Education Amendment Bill seeks to block Kuppet from being part of county boards.
“Previously, it’s the Knut that was part of District Education Boards while Kuppet was not, and that worked to our disadvantage since Knut was a key stakeholder.t. Our attempt to insert it has elicited a lot of reaction from MPs who are reviewing it with a view to scrap it off,” said Milemba.
The Senate, Mr Milemba, also said seeks to mainstream Early Childhood Education teachers by ensuring that they are hired by the TSC.
The officials were speaking in Siaya County during the 9th Kuppet general assembly held at Kitu Moto.