Staffroom split over General Election results

Mwalimu Andrew

I banned any political discussions in the staffroom after teachers almost traded blows.

Photo credit: John Nyaga | Nation Media Group

As many of you will recall, a few months ago at the height of the election campaigns, I banned any political discussions in the staffroom. This was after teachers almost traded blows .

What had started as a simple political conversation turned chaotic when teachers started calling each other “fool’ and “stupid” on the basis of the candidates they supported.

So, when we opened schools, there was, naturally, some discussion about elections. “All teachers must thank God for the election results,” said Lena happily. Alex wondered why teachers would be celebrating.

“At least we will have a proper minister, CBC will be scrapped off and we will not be closing and opening schools as often as we open and close eyes,” said Lena, adding that she couldn’t wait for Prof Magoha to be replaced as CS for Education.

“That is true,” said Sella. “I can’t wait for Wilson Sossion to be appointed Education CS. He will implement many pro-teacher programmes. Indeed, freedom is coming!”

I supported her, saying that there will soon be great things in the education sector based on the manifesto for Kenya Kwanza. “Which freedom are you talking about, Sella? And which Sossion?” Wondered Alex.

Supreme Court

“I don’t care about whether they appoint Sossion or if Magoha continues,” said Nzomo. “As long as the delocalisation nonsense is done away with, I will be happy. I want to go back to Nunguni, Ukambani.”

She lamented how she had tried to look for a transfer to her home county unsuccessfully. “Stop celebrating, good people,” said Alex. “It is not over until it is over. Mambo bado!”

He then went on to tell everyone that he was sure the Supreme Court would overturn the results: “Did you see the amount of evidence Raila and team presented to the Supreme Court? A whole lorry. That means there was a problem in the election a.”

“Have you seen the lawyers representing Raila?” asked Mrs Atika. “They are over 40, with many of them being doctors or professors. How can you lose a case with such many lawyers?”

Sella said it was not about the number of lawyers or the number of trucks of evidence presented.

“It is about logic and only one lawyer can speak at a time, so it does not matter even if you have 100 lawyers,” she said. “This is not the first time someone is going to the Supreme Court,” said Lena. “Nothing changed. So, what makes you think things will be different this time round?”

Madam Ruth, who had always supported Kenya Kwanza, joined the discussion and added that after seeing the evidence presented, she had ditched Kenya Kwanza.

“This thing was stolen, my friends,” she added, and said that her Nairobi-based brother had sent her more rigging evidence on WhatsApp.

“Imagine someone used an axe to hack all IEBC computers and that is how the rigging happened,” Ruth added, to the shock of everyone.

I had to intervene before things got ugly. “Ladies and gentlemen, do we realise that the elections are over?” I asked. “Can we be discussing more important things than elections?”

“Mr HM, sorry Mr HM-elect, I wish to notify you that elections are not yet over,” said Kuya, who had just arrived. I told him that the Supreme Court was the one to make the final decision.

“Elections were done and a winner announced,” I started. “We respect and recognise William Ruto, who was announced as winner, unless the Supreme Court says otherwise.”

“How can you say the elections are over when we do not have a governor?” Asked Kuya.

“I know that, but the discussion here is about the big elections, we know who will be the governors for Kakamega and Mombasa. Why are we wasting time thinking about that?” I said.

Kuya asked me to say who would win.

Rocket scientist

“It is obvious who will win the elections,” I said. “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know, if you understand what I am saying.”

“What do you mean that it is obvious who will win?” Asked Kuya. “Then why are we conducting elections if the winner is known? You and Chebukati should then just announce the winner!” He was very agitated.

“Yes, Dre should tell us what he knows,” added Mrs Atika.

I stopped her in her tracks.

“This is the reason I had banned politics in the staffroom earlier. Since we have a case at the Supreme Court and we have gubernatorial elections for Kakamega coming too, I extend the ban on political discussions in the staffroom indefinitely,” I ordered.

“Please stop behaving like Prof Magoha who thinks he can order teachers around,” said Alex. “We know you always stop us from talking politics whenever those who are opposed to you politically speak.”

“For someone who contested to be an MP while still serving as HM of this school, what moral authority do you have stopping us from talking politics? Did we ever stop you?” Asked Kuya.

“Dre, we know that you are looking for a promotion with the new government, but I want to tell you that they do not even know that you exist. And they don’t care,” added Mrs Atika. “You can congratulate them or praise them, but I can assure you there are more important things to be done than thinking about some confused HM-elect.”

Nzomo, Sella and Lena came to my aid, saying the staffroom had to remain apolitical.

“Mrs Atika, Kuya and Madam Ruth”, started Nzomo, “you are mere teachers, not lawyers. If you have any evidence about rigging, please take it to the Supreme Court for the lawyer to argue there.” She went on: “This is a staffroom, not a court of law, our job as teachers is simply to teach as instructed by the current government!”

“You people are talking like that and your person has not been sworn in!” said Kuya. “Sembuse if he gets sworn in! Tutapumua kweli?”

He said he would not be sitting in what he called a politically toxic staffroom. He asked Mrs Atika and Madam Ruth to follow him. They have been sitting in our small room that we call a library since then. I am not worried — at least there is order and silence in the staffroom.