Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia has transferred seven more tutors to far-flung work stations in a move perceived to be a crackdown on those associated with a new breakaway union.
The transfers come only a few days after Ms Macharia ordered the transfer Ms Martha Omollo, the spokesperson of Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (TPG), from Mowlem Supaloaf Primary School in Njiru, Nairobi County to Trans Nzoia County.
The Nation yesterday learnt that six teachers associated with the group have received letters of transfer from their previous schools to other counties.
More teachers have also been notified of their transfer and have been summoned to go to the commission’s offices to collect them immediately. Those who have received their letters are Ms Eva Muchemi from Plainview Primary South B Nairobi to Narok County, Ms Jane Gitonga from Kilimambogo Teachers Training College to Galana Teachers Training College, Mr Fanuel Ambole from Mumbuni Boys in Machakos to Sane Girls in Tana River County and Ms Ann Wanyoike from Kario-bangi South Primary in Nairobi County to Kitui County.
Ms Betsy Mitema has been transferred from Kajiado County to Isiolo County. Others are Mr Julius Aloo from Ugari primary in Suna East, Migori County to Marsabit County, and Mr Kinyua Mwangi who has already been informed that his letter for transfer is ready and he should collect it.
Those transferred were officials of TPG. The Nation has also learnt that some other teachers who have been vocal against the TSC and the unions have also been notified of their transfers. In total, 10 teachers had been affected by yesterday evening. In one of the letters signed by a Mr Robert Muathe on behalf of Ms Macharia, the commission has not given the reasons for the transfer.
But the teachers say the transfer is meant to intimidate and to stop them from agitating for teachers’ rights. Although TSC has the discretion to transfer teachers, the timing and manner are not lost on observers and it appears to target TPG members.
Other members were reluctant to talk the media for fear of victimisation. Last week the teachers called for the suspension of the teachers medical scheme offered by AON Minet, called for the suspension of the TPD and also accused unions of failing to effectively represent teachers.
The transfers have angered teachers with some accusing Ms Macharia of unfairness. The lobby has planned a demonstration to protest against the transfer of Ms Omollo.
The demonstrations are also to oppose the implementation of the Teacher Professional Development Programme(TPD) that is scheduled to begin in December.
On Tuesday, teachers notified officers at Central Police Station in Nairobi on the peaceful demonstration that was to be held on Friday. However, after some of them received their transfer letters, they said they are yet to decide whether or not to go ahead with the demonstrations. Ms Omollo, yesterday told the Nation she is yet to report to Trans-Nzoia County as she is preparing to challenge the transfer in court.
“I decided that I should not report and instead challenge the matter in court as I find the transfer malicious,” she said. Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Collins Oyuu yesterday said the union has not received any complaints from the aggrieved teachers.
Speaking to the Nation, lawyer Soyinka Lempaa said TSC is using transfers to victimise teachers: “It is an unfair labour practice and sad that TSC is using trans-fers as a way of silencing teachers,” said Mr Lempaa.
“Individual teachers should write letters to TSC and demand to know the reason for their transfer,” he added.