Knut election in Homa Bay fails to attract competitors

Knut Nairobi elections

Delegates vote during Knut elections held alongside its 61st Annual Delegates Conference at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on December 14, 2018. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Knut’s Saturday elections in Homa Bay County will be a walk in the park for incumbent officials as no other people have signed up to contest.

Members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers will choose officials for the two branches in the county -- Homa Bay and Rachuonyo.

Homa Bay branch members will vote for the positions of chair, deputy chair, treasurer, deputy treasurer, executive secretary, assistant executive secretary and branch woman representative.

Competition is limited perhaps because several members withdrew from the union, a circumstance that has resulted in wrangles with the Teachers Service Commission, which has been blamed.

Knut’s Homa Bay branch has less than 50 members, with some contemplating moving to other unions. In June 2019, the union had more than 2,000 members in the same branch.

Lower remittances

Sources within Knut told the Nation that most of the current members are unwilling to contest as the union no longer receives the same amount of money it did in the past in deductions from salaries.

Officials are, therefore, more likely to go home with empty pockets at the end of every month.

“Some officials were transferred to other schools during the delocalisation exercise while others have retired. No one has shown interest in their seats, which we believe will not be filled,” the source said.

Knut’s Homa Bay Executive Secretary Cornel Ojuok, however, expressed confidence that the election will attract a number of teachers seeking various positions.

To be an official in the union, one must have paid the monthly subscription fee up to December last year.

Mr Ojuko further said preparations have been made for the exercise to be successful and that most aspirants will be known on the day of the election.

“We have informed the labour office about the exercise. Labour officials will ensure the exercise is free and fair,” he said.

Kuppet’s luck

Despite having fewer members, the branch will ironically use its June 2019 register, which has more than 2,000 names, on voting day.

On the flip side, members of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers (Kuppet) who are eying various seats in Homa Bay have hit the campaign trail as they hunt for votes from teachers for an election that will be held on January 22, 2021.

Some Knut members moved to Kuppet making the union, whose secretary-general is Akelo Misoro, stronger.

In December last year, some members who were seeking to remove the current office holders stormed Kuppet office, accusing branch Executive Secretary Stephen Yogo of planning to rig the election.

The disgruntled members alleged schemes to block them from participating in the exercise.

Mr Yogo dismissed the claims, saying the Kuppet election in Homa Bay will be conducted by an independent body which will ensure fairness.

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