Compensate families of teachers killed by bandits, says Knut

Collins Oyuu

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Collins Oyuu addresses journalists in Nairobi on February 6, 2024. 

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

The government has been urged to compensate the families of teachers who have been killed in banditry attacks across the country.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu said several teachers had fallen victim to such incidents.

“Knut will officially be engaging Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki over insecurity in schools in banditry-prone areas,” Mr Oyuu said.

Speaking at Shangoi village in Transmara, Narok County, on Sunday, Mr Oyuu said insecurity in parts of the country had negatively affected learning.

“The recent killing of a blind teacher in Baringo County in front of his family points to a deeper problem that has not been addressed,” Mr Oyuu said.

Kagir Primary School headteacher Thomas Kibet was shot in the head as he rode on a motorcycle with his wife and their son. They were going to Kipcherere Secondary School for a meeting when they were ambushed.

Knut First Vice National chairman Malel Langat said the recent skirmishes on the border between Narok and Migori counties need to be addressed as it was affecting learning with the on and off closure of schools.

Echoing the call for compensation were Knut Second National Woman Representative Mercy Ndungu, National Executive Council members Alfred Rop, Francis Bundotich, Josephat Serem, Sammy Bor, Dorcas Kiptoo, Alice Bor, and Richard Lentayaa. Others were Knut Narok branch executive secretary Simiren Soiyantet and his Transmara counterpart Willy Korir.

Knut issued the demands even as the family of the slain teacher joined the human rights groups in calling for justice. In a statement read by his brother, Collins Rotuno, the family called for speedy investigations into the killing that took place on February 10. They vowed not to bury the body until the killer is arrested and charged.

They also urged the government to commit to compensating the family of Mr Kibet and taking care of his children and 15 students who depended on him for school fees.

Mr Rotuno was flanked by nominated Senator Harold Kipchumba, Baringo North youth leader Brian Simba and human rights activist Mwangi Muraya.

Samburu, Laikipia, Baringo, West Pokot and Turkana counties are the most affected by banditry attacks with hundreds of lives having been lost. Security operations conducted by the military in the affected zones have not quelled the attacks.

Learning institutions have been shut down in parts of the North Rift region due to the escalating incidents of violence despite a crackdown by the military. The government allocated Sh100 million to rehabilitate schools that had been destroyed in the attacks.

The government had promised to post National Police Reservists to guard the schools, but this is yet to be done, risking the lives of learners and teachers.

Learners are also not being fed in the schools as previously promised by the government, with President William Ruto having recently directed the reopening of learning institutions that had been closed.

Prof Kindiki and Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale have flown to the area several times to assess the situation even as attacks continue to be executed despite the establishment of police and military camps.

Local leaders have described the tours by the two ministers as public relations gimmicks that have not helped to restore order.