Hesbon Otieno has taken over the mantle of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) following move taken by The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection on Friday to suspended embattled Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion.
This comes even after SG Wilson Sossion who also doubles up a a nominated member of parliament had successfully sought court order to stop NEC meeting that was to plan his ouster.
On Friday 30th August 2019, the registrar of Trade Unions E.N Gicheha issued a letter stating that Wilson Sossion has been replaced in an acting capacity by his deputy Hesbon Otieno. Mr Otieno will take charge of the union matter till December 2019, when ADC will be held to elect a new SG.
According to Knut constitution, any national official of the union may be suspended from office by a two-third majority decision of all members entitled to attend and vote at the NEC.
To counter Sossion through J.A Guserwa & Company Advocates, expressed his surprise on the change of officers at Knut citing the ruling by the Employment and Relations Court which stopped Thursday’s NEC meeting.
“Take notice that unless the change of officers is removed and/or withdrawn, we shall move to court to cite you [Registrar of Trade Unions] for contempt,” Sossion said.
Its increasingly clear that Sossion’s plights resurfaced two months ago after the TSC prepared two separate payrolls — one for Knut and the other for Kuppet — following the suspension of the third phase of the first-ever Collective Bargaining Agreement (2017-2021) after a labour dispute.
July this year TSC removed Mr Sossion from its list of teachers following ruling by the Labour court that allowed the commission to kick out Knut as a teacher after he joined politics as an ODM nominated.
Sossion is on record stating that his termination of employment as a teacher does not affect his rights within the union and the position he holds.
On May 1, 2018, the union suspended Sossion and replaced him with Hesbon Otieno. This prompted Sossion to move to the Employment Labour and Relations Court through lawyer James Orengo to challenge that decision.
Fortunately, judge Onyango restrained Otieno or any other person from purporting to act in place of sossion as KNUT secretary general.