No respite in dockers union leadership row

Dock Workers Union Secretary- General Simon Sang. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Dock Workers Union Secretary- General Simon Sang. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Leadership wrangles at the Dock Workers Union might be headed to the courts after a faction opposed to Secretary- General Simon Sang said it did not recognise a special general meeting held last Sunday.

The giant union has been hit by leadership wrangles, with a section of members accusing Mr Sang of mismanaging it and demanding that he resigns.

The union has also been infiltrated by political interests that have threatened to tear it apart.

Joseph Nyaguti, a shop steward who leads the splinter group, vowed to block any resolution that was arrived at during the chaotic AGM held at the Bandari College.

Three such meetings have aborted after a section of members protested that Mr Sang had misappropriated union funds.

They also claim that three officials — Mohamed Sheria (chairman), Gunda Kaneno (vice chairman) and the treasurer Joseph Makero —were suspended without following due process. Mr Nyaguti claimed that Mr Sang suspended the officials after they questioned misappropriation of union funds and “nominated a clique of board members whom he has been using to endorse his shady dealings.”

“We want the officials reinstated and the nominated ones thrown out because we cannot allow Sang to run the affairs of the union as though it is his personal property,” Mr Nyaguti said Monday.

But Mr Sang told the members it would not be easy to remove the nominated officials, saying the exercise was done “above board.” The officials were suspended after it was proved that they had engaged in gross misconduct, he said.

The wrangles took a new twist Momday when Musa Jaka, a member of the union, said the entire office should be disbanded and new officials elected since they had openly engaged in politics.

While Mr Sang is aligned to the Jubilee Party and is pushing for the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Sheria supports Nasa leader Raila Odinga. The two leaders have singed separate memorandum of understanding with the parties.