Principal fights interdiction, threatens to sue employer

Monday April 17 2017

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori. The union has been accused of doing little o help a principal interdicted by the TSC last year. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Secretary-General Akelo Misori. The union has been accused of doing little o help a principal interdicted by the TSC last year. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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A teacher has threatened to sue her employer over an interdiction that she has calls unjust.

Judy Wanjiru Ngugi, the principal of Kimutwa Secondary School in Machakos County, through her lawyer Murithi Mutuerandu, wants the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to revoke her interdiction.

“Take note that if this interdiction is not revoked within seven days from the date of this letter, we shall enforce our clients’ right at the Employment and Labour Relations without further notice to you,” states the demand letter to the TSC dated April 11.

She was interdicted on December 7 last year on allegations of neglecting duty by failing to collect examination papers for Mathematics paper 121/1 and Chemistry paper 233/1 on November 7 for her school.

DUBAI TRIP

Ms Ngugi has also been accused of making a trip to Dubai from November 5 to 7 without due authorisation from the commission.

However, she argues that she sought the permission of Machakos Sub-County Director of Education Francis Munyeke to delegate to one of her teachers to stand in for her and who performed excellently.

“The interdiction, coming exactly a month later, was shocking, suspicious and daring with much impunity,” said Ms Ngugi.

She added that she appeared before the TSC Disciplinary Panel on March 1 and ironically, a different charge was brought against her other than the one on her interdiction letter, contrary to the Teachers’ Code of Regulations, which require that only the allegations in the interdiction letter are supposed to be considered.

Ms Ngugi claims that the disciplinary panel, comprising of a TSC commissioner and other TSC staff, did not allow her to present her defence, adduce any evidence or cross-examine her accusers, who were Ireri Muturi, the Machakos County director of education, and Mr Munyeke, contrary to Chapter X of the Teachers’ Code of Regulations(2013).

VERDICT

On March 9, the TSC wrote to her, deferring the verdict “due to unavoidable circumstances.”

Ms Ngugi claims that her union, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), has been of little help to her despite her request.

On April 6, the TSC Machakos County education director issued her with a second interdiction letter, also effective December 7, with fresh charges in the guise of an amendment, and whose charges he had initially dropped at the show-cause stage.

“By all constitutional means, I rightfully and lawfully ask for justice,” said Ms Ngugi.

NOT AWARE

However, Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori said his office in Machakos had only learnt about the case through communication with TSC office.

“We can only step in when the case is dragging and fast-track it, but she has not gone physically to our office to raise her concerns,” said Mr Misori, adding that the union has not abdicated its duty.

Mr Misori added that the TSC has a right to amend charges against an employee.