Teachers’ unions, TSC clash over alleged misconduct in hiring 

Mr Paul Kimetto (, the Bomet branch executive secretary of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) speaking to journalists at Famous Gate hotel in Bomet town after education stakeholders meeting on June 9, 2022. 

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

A row has erupted between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and two trade unions over the recruitment of teachers in Bomet County.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) claimed that deep-rooted nepotism marred the hiring, with candidates from a neighbouring county recruited at the expense of locals.

“It is unfortunate that some senior TSC officers in Sotik sub-county have tilted the rules to favour their kinsmen in the recruitment, locking out deserving locals. It is a matter that the TSC headquarters needs to address with urgency,” said Mr Mathias Langat, the Sotik Knut branch secretary.

Kuppet Bomet branch chairman Paul Kimeto said some of those locked out had met the requirements to be shortlisted, while those who were taken on board were fresh college graduates.

“We have cases where candidates who graduated several years back and are 44 years old were locked out when they should have been given preference as required by the rules and policy governing the recruitment exercise, while those who graduated recently were taken,” Mr Kimeto claimed.

Mr Kimeto and Mr Langat said they had raised the matter with the local TSC offices, amid mounting pressure and protests from candidates who were locked out.

TSC Rift Valley Regional Director Adow Bardad has written to Bomet County TSC Director Mary Kola Kalinga, demanding answers on the issues raised by the unions.

The July 24 letter confirmed that the trade unions had raised questions about how the recruitment was conducted.

“You are required to confirm the accuracy of the reports … and brief this office on the actions taken,” said Mr Bardad’s letter.

Officers from the regional TSC offices were said to have been dispatched to the county to investigate the matter.

Ms Kola was not available to comment on this matter yesterday as she was said to be on sick leave.

“It is very clear that there was manipulation in the recruitment process, with the officers involved well known,” Mr Langat said. 

“It is not the first time this is happening as a senior officer in the department was transferred last year following protests from teachers and education stakeholders on similar grounds.”

The unionists said the issue was a systemic matter that the TSC headquarters needed to address once and for all as the officers on the ground were damaging its image.

An acute shortage of teachers has hit the country, with more than 300,000 trained but unemployed professionals seeking jobs from the TSC annually.

TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia acknowledged recently that there was a shortage of over 100,000 teachers in public schools.

Dr Macharia noted that the TSC was financially constrained, urging lawmakers to allocate more money to the agency for hiring new teachers.

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