Split at Knut as Mudzo Nzili maintains he is still in office

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KNUT national chairman Mudzo Nzili and Secretary General Wilson Sossion during a press briefing at KNUT house on February 28. /FILE

A split has emerged at the Kenya National Union of Teachers over the resignation of national chairman Mudzo Nzili.

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Nzili maintains that he is fully in charge of his office even as Secretary General Wilson Sossion said he had sent him on terminal leave pending his resignation in May next year.

Sossion said on Sunday he had sent his long term chairman on a six month mandatory leave in line with the union’s constitution.

He said Nzili had accepted to leave office ahead of his May 16 resignation date and that second vice chairman Wycliffe Etole Omuchei would take over his position in the interim.

“Six months prior to the date of retirement, an officer is granted terminal leave pending retirement,” Sossion told journalists at a press conference at KNUT headquarters in Nairobi.

Nzili however dismissed Sossion saying he has no powers to send him on leave as he is no longer the custodian of such powers.

He said Sossion forfeited those powers when he took the oath of office as ODM nominated MP on August 30.

“So, he has no powers under law to write me or any other official a retirement letter because he is now an MP,” Nzili said.

He spoke during an interview with KTN on Sunday.

“There are so many Knut officials who resigned immediately they joined parliament, but he (Sossion) has not.”

Nzili said the only person whose instructions he will obey regarding his resignation is the deputy Secretary General Hesbone Otieno.

He said his terminal leave is unprocedural and violates Knut’s hand – over tradition by senior leadership.

According to Nzili, he is supposed to remain in office until a National Delegates Conference is held.

“In this regard, the National Executive Council has scheduled the ADC to be held in Mombasa so that I have the chance to address the delegates for the last time and say goodbye,” he said.

Sossion said the ADC, the 60th since inception, will be held on December 13.

He said Omuchei will be acting chairman until the said date when he will either be confirmed by the delegates or when someone else will be elected in a by-election.

Nzili opposed the plans saying: “Up to this point, I am waiting to address the delegates. Thereafter I will decide whether I should take leave or remain in office until my last working day.”

According to Knut constitution, top officials of the giant teachers union must retire upon the attainment of the age 60 years.

Nzili said the whole debacle has caught him by surprise as he was working together with NEC in preparing speeches and handover notes during the ADC.

He ruled out political influence as the reason behind the power struggles saying the union is non-partisan.

“Personal differences between me and Sossion on the basis of him supporting NASA and me supporting Jubilee have no relation with how the union is run.

“He (Sossion) has been given a chance to be an MP and his political leanings are well known. Let him step aside and let Otieno take over,” Nzili said.

-the-star.co.ke

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