Teachers forced to fund polls as financial woes dog Knut

Thursday February 4 2016

A man puts up posters of candidates vying for

A man puts up posters of candidates vying for various positions in the ongoing Knut elections. Teachers have been forced to use their own money to conduct the elections after TSC failed to submit teachers' deductions for three months. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By REBECCA OKWANY
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Teachers have been forced to use their own money to conduct the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) branch elections as the union is facing financial challenges after failure by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to remit teachers’ contributions for three months.

Knut has begun elections in its 110 branches countrywide.

Mombasa Knut branch secretary Stephen Auma said the action by TSC has crippled activities of the union and members have been forced to sacrifice their finances to ensure the elections go on as planned.

“We had to request the ministry, through the county directors of education, to allow us to conduct our elections in schools because we don’t have money to hire a private venue,” he added.

Executive member Dan Aloo said they chipped in to ensure the elections are conducted smoothly.

POLLS CONDUCTED IN SCHOOLS

“Normally as Mombasa branch we would conduct our elections at Chandaria hall but this time round, we will conduct them at Ronald Ngala Primary School,” said Mr Auma Wednesday.

“We had to request the ministry through the county directors of education to allow us to conduct our elections in schools,” he added.

The teachers union has for the past three months not been receiving the monthly subscriptions from members a situation which has in turn led to disruption of the union’s activities.

Kwale, Kinango and Msambweni conducted their elections on Wednesday as Kilindini, Mombasa and Malindi will have theirs Thursday while in Taita Taveta the elections will be conducted on Friday.

While TSC has now began deducting the dues, it is yet to wire the money to the unions’ accounts.

At the same time, the deductions will only affect teachers who have validated their union membership.