The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) National Treasurer, John Matiang’i has exited the plum position at the troubled union.
In a statement, Matiang’i (Pictured above) said that he had already tendered his early retirement letter to the Secretary General of the Union.
He did not link his exit to the turbulence in the union whose membership has shrunk to 17,000 down from over 230,000 a few years ago.
“I’d like to announce my voluntary retirement as KNUT National Treasurer and pause this phase of my professional life,” the statement reads.
“I have already submitted my Early Retirement Letter to the National Executive Council through the Secretary-General, who has graciously received it.”
His retirement marks the end of 13 years of active unionism for the man who was first elected to serve as the Executive Secretary for Borabu branch of the union, Nyamira County.
Mr. Matiang’i who is undertaking his PhD in Education Administration in the University of Nairobi said that over time, he had made some personal sacrifices and time had come for him to make recompense.
Among the sacrifices he made was declining a lucrative appointment to SRC in 2018 because he wanted to give teachers his all.
“I didn’t want to be distracted from serving teachers, the reason why I turned down the appointment,” he said during a telephone interview with scholarmedia.africa.
Among the things he will do immediately is to finish his studies at UoN.
“This is not a decision to exit public service; it is temporary but necessary break to allow me take stock of my journey and map out my next phase.
Even as I transition from KNUT, I remain committed to my obligations as a public servant,” he said.
Mr. Matiang’i is serving as a Trustee to the New Pension Scheme Board having been appointed with two others on August 2020 by CS Treasury, according to the Public Service Superannuation Scheme (PSSS) Act 2012.
He thanked God, his family, friends and colleagues for the support they accorded him in his day to day endeavors.
The unionist is a brother of Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i who shot into the limelight when President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him to serve in his Cabinet, in 2013.
Just like the CS, the unionist cuts the image of a straight shooting and abrasive figure nationally.
At some point, the Matiang’is sat on opposite sides of the negotiation table, with John as a unionist pushing for pay increment for teachers while his brother defended the government that the demands were unrealistic.
Meanwhile, the future of KNUT looks bleak as it faces strained cash flow as a result of mass exodus of members.
The once roaring lion that made the government shake is now a former shadow of its former self and according to Wilson Sossion, the Union’s Secretary General, it cannot effectively and promptly pay salaries, rent and other office operations.