Sack defiant teachers, Mandera governor Ali Roba urges TSC

Some of the teachers camping at TSC headquarters in Nairobi seeking to be transferred from Mandera due to insecurity fears. Now Mandera Governor Ali Roba wants them replaced with those who are willing to work in north-eastern Kenya. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The governor has refuted claims that the Council of Governors backed the redeployment of teachers from insecurity prone counties of northern Kenya.
  • Mr Roba said the teachers applied to work in the areas on their own volition and that they were recruited from the ground.
  • He said apart from the non-local teachers, all the other workers including health workers, engineers, architects and other civil servants were continuing well with their work in Mandera.
  • A meeting held on Wednesday to persuade teachers to go back to work in the north eastern counties failed.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba has asked the Teachers Service Commission to sack teachers who have refused to return to work in Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties citing insecurity.

The governor has at the same time refuted claims by the chairman of the Council of Governors Isaac Ruto that the body backed the redeployment of teachers from insecurity prone counties of northern Kenya.

"In his private capacity Governor Ruto is entitled to his opinion but the council of governors has never taken any opinion on the matter. The issue has never been discussed as an agenda at the council," Mr Roba said.

REPLACE THEM WITH THE WILLING

Speaking to the Nation by phone, Mr Roba said the non-local teachers who are camping at TSC headquarters demanding to be transferred from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa should go back or be replaced by those willing to work in those areas.

Mr Roba said the teachers applied to work in the areas on their own volition and that they were recruited from the ground.

"They were not transferred to the areas. Those now not willing to work should be sacked. There are many Kenyans willing to go to work in these areas," Mr Roba said.

He denied claims that non-local teachers working in the three counties were mistreated saying they could not have remained silent for that long.

"Why are they making the claims now? Even information of Kenyans being mistreated in places like Saudi Arabia finds its way in national media immediately," Mr Roba said.

He said most government departments in the area are headed by non-locals who could have been alerted in case of any mistreatment of the teachers.

The governor told the Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion to stop looking for popularity using a national issue of teachers leaving the region.

"Mr Sossion should come to Mandera Town and see how security has been beefed up. Discussing mass transfer of teachers is uncalled for.

“Mandera, Wajir and Garissa are not the only places where there has been mass killings of Kenyans. The killings have happened in Nairobi during the Westgate attack. They have also occurred in Mombasa, Lamu and Baringo but teachers and civil servants were not asked to leave those areas," Mr Roba said.

"It is false for Sossion to say the teachers were being harassed," the governor added.

Mr Roba said the National Government has done much to ensure security in Mandera Town and its environs which suffered several terror attacks in 2014.

He said the attacks in Mandera were mainly concentrated on a 50 kilometres radius near the Somalia border yet the county measured more than 26,000 square kilometres.

OTHER WORKERS HAVE RESUMED

He said apart from the non-local teachers, all the other workers including health workers, engineers, architects and other civil servants were continuing well with their work in Mandera.

He said allowing teachers to transfer from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties would set a wrong precedent and make other workers to also seek to move from parts of the country hit by insecurity.

"We agree the areas have been faced with terror attacks but that does not mean life should stop.

“We should continue dealing with the threat for life to return to normal. If we allow teachers to leave certain areas, we will be setting a wrong precedent for other civil servants to also leave.

“This will be a risky position for anyone smart enough to understand," Mr Roba said.

A meeting held on Wednesday to persuade teachers to go back to work in the north eastern counties failed.

The teachers vowed to continue camping at their employer's offices until they are given letters of transfer.

The tutors had met with business leaders from northern Kenya who assured them that they would make the region conducive for teaching.

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