What you need to know:
- Ruling, however, does not stop him from defending his seat in the June elections.
- TSC de-registered Mr Sossion as a teacher through a gazette notice dated November 1, 2019, citing section 30 of the TSC Act.
Mr Wilson Sossion, the embattled Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary-general, has lost a court battle to retain the teacher title, even as he fights to defend his union seat.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court yesterday upheld a decision by his employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), to deregister him as a teacher for gross misconduct.
The ruling, however, does not stop him from defending his seat in the June elections, thanks to Labour Relations Act.
While the Knut constitution bars non-teachers from running for seats, the Act, whose provisions override union laws, allows a secretary-general of a trade union to be any person—including those not engaged or employed in the sector concerned.
“The judgment is non-issue to me because the Labour Act allows me to vie for the secretary-general post. The only thing I can lose are my personal benefits as a teacher,” Mr Sossion told the Nation on phone after the ruling.
TSC de-registered Mr Sossion as a teacher through a gazette notice dated November 1, 2019, citing section 30 of the TSC Act.
The commission accused him of breaching the third schedule of the TSC Act and the code of Teachers’ Service Commission by causing paralysis of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) training in 11 counties.
Aggrieved by TSC's decision
The commission also accused Mr Sossion of breaching the Public Officer’s Ethics Act and the Code of Regulation for Teachers by accepting nominations to the National Assembly.
Aggrieved by the commission’s decision, Mr Sossion moved to court and sued the TSC, terming its decision unjust and unreasonable and meant to kill the education sector. He wanted the court to declare the gazette notice null and void and to issue orders preventing the commission from implementing their decision.
Through his lawyer Paul Muite, Mr Sossion had argued that the main reason for his deregistration was to defeat the then pending legal proceedings before the Court of Appeal.
But in its defence, TSC through lawyer Fred Ngatia said Mr Sossion was served with a notice of removal from the register of teachers in July 29, 2019 but declined to respond within 90 days.
TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia, in her affidavit, told the court that Mr Sossion’s removal was anchored in law and that in exercising the powers, she was not motivated by bad faith or any personal interest.
Delivering the judgment in Nairobi yesterday, Justice Stephen Radido dismissed Mr Sossion’s case, saying it lacked merit.
Justice Radido said Mr Sossion did not suggest either in his pleadings and submissions that the section was invalid or inconsistent with the law.