Sossion fights to remain boss of emaciated union

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) secretary general Wilson Sossion seems to be losing grip as he fights a do or die battle to remain in control of the withering teachers’ union.
With seemingly all odds against him, Mr Sossion appears isolated as different forces work towards ending his not so rosy reign at the union.

The latest blow to the outspoken labour movement  leader was the decision by the court to uphold a decision by the Teachers Service Commission(TSC) which removed him from the teachers’ roll.
Recently, the  Employment and Labour Relations Court sitting in Nairobi, upheld a decision by TSC which had in 2019, on allegations of gross misconduct, deregistered Sossion as a teacher.

The decision means that Sossion, who is also a nominated member of parliament will lose all his benefits as a teacher.

He will however remain KNUT’s secretary general and will be allowed to defend his seat in the forthcoming elections.

The Labour Relations Act allows Sossion to defend his seat even though KNUT’s constitution does not allow non-teachers to run for positions in the union.

The Act overrides KNUT’s constitution.

And even as the union’s elections approach,  Mr Sossion is facing stiff competition from within and outside KNUT with two factions emerging within the union, both aiming at ousting him.

Sossion is accusing TSC and the government of sponsoring internal wars within the union with the aim of getting him out of the way.

He has in the recent past accused TSC and the government of being determined to kill the labour movement in the country, starting with KNUT.

The embattled Sossion is facing a stiff challenge from KNUT’s acting national chair Collins Oyuu and KNUT’s Kericho branch secretary Stanley Mutai.

Sources within KNUT have revealed  that Sossion has lost control of majority of the branches.

At least 90 out of the 110 KNUT branches are said to have dumped Sossion.

Already, in preparation  for the union elections expected in September, Sosion has summoned a national delegates  conference which is expected to draw a schedule for the elections.

The secretary general has been on the receiving end from other officials for delaying the process of elections, but Sossion has blamed the delays on lack of money.

He is accusing TSC of failing to submit the statutory deductions from teachers to the union.

Sossion’s reign at the teachers union has been a rough one coupled with wars with his employer, the government and in house rivalry wars within KNUT.

In August last year, Sossion suspended 13 KNUT branch officials after they supported the move by TSC to deregister him.

He accused the 13 of plotting a coup against him.

Mr Oyuu has already announced his line-up ahead of the expected elections with sources intimidating that he is a government and TSC backed candidate to replace Sossion. 

On the other hand Mr Stanley Mutai is said to be backed by a host branch officials especially from the laralley region.

Oyuu and Mutai are accusing Sossion of running KNUT like a personal property by failing to listen to other officials.

They are blaming KNUT’s misfortunes on his “dictatorship” and bad leadership.

According to Oyuu, the only  way of salvaging the once giant union is by getting Wilson Sossion out of the way.

Under Sossion’s reign, KNUT has remained a shell of its former self with close to 150,000 teachers withdrawing their membership.

Lack of and limited resources has forced the union to shut down some of its branches after it became impossible to pay rent and staff salaries.

Whether Sossion will pull through the storm and stay as KNUT’s boss remains to be seen as delegates prepare for the much awaited elections.

CAPTION: Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses a past press conference at Parliament Buildings. PHOTO/Courtesy.

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Jackson Okata is a freelance journalist with experience in both broadcast, print and online journalism. His areas of interest are Climate Change, Environment, Agribusiness, Technology, and Gender Empowerment. His contact:


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