The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe the membership of the Kenya Women Teachers Association (Kewota).
The Nominated MP also warned KNUT’s members against joining the lobby.
Sossion asked the DCI and the EACC to probe the officials at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for allegedly colluding with Kewota to recruit teachers without their knowledge.
In a letter seen by Kahawa Tungu, Sossion noted: “It has come to our notice that the TSC has illegally executed check-off deductions of Sh200 per female teacher from 58,000 teachers who did not at all authorize their deductions.”
According to him, the commission had auto-loaded programs to automatically deduct the money, without the approval of the teachers and in collusion with Kewota officials.
His sentiments were reiterated by Kuppet’s acting Secretary-General Moses Nturima who alleged that members were recruited and deductions made with the blessing of the TSC, which he claimed had vested interests.
“The deductions are illegal and constitute economic crimes against affected teachers on the part of the employer,” Mr Nturima mentioned.
However, their claims have been refuted by Kewota’s National Treasurer Jacinta Ndegwa who asserted that teachers joined the lobby at their own will.
“Teachers are joining the women’s lobby group without force. They are looking at the benefits,” she noted.
She reported that that the association had recruited 60,000 members who will pay Sh200 monthly, translating to Sh12million per month.
According to Kewota Chief Executive Officer Benta Opande, the association will address issues such as investment opportunities, projects, mentorship, sponsorship, training, and advocacy.
She said Kewota’s mission is “to create an institutionalized, vibrant and democratic welfare society capable of empowering women teachers and the girl child socially or economically while enhancing better living standards for them by providing opportunities for career development”.
Knut has since threatened to kick out its officials who have positions in the new lobby, among them Ms Ndegwa, who is Knut’s second women’s representative.
Mr Sossion affirmed that the union will not entertain union officials and officers out to “undermine Knut from within and to blackmail the trade union movement”.