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Blow for new Knut officials as Banks reject their signatures

Knut's Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno
Knut's Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno. Activities at the troubled teachers' union have been paralysed as financial institutions have declined to recognise signatures of officials of the the faction he leads. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Activities at the troubled Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have been paralysed as financial institutions have declined to recognise the faction led by Deputy Secretary General Hesbon Otieno as signatories.

Knut National Treasurer John Matiang’i, in a communication to teachers, said as a result of the court order that reinstated embattled Secretary-General Wilson Sossion, they have been unable to withdraw cash from banks or transact any other businesses.

The union’s national executive council last month replaced Mr Sossion with Mr Otieno and even changed signatories in banks but Mr Sossion was reinstated by the Labour court.

“As your national treasurer, I understand the predicaments and agony we are all going through financially. It's now getting to three months and all of us have not been paid [together] with our staff,” said Mr Matiang’i.

He said some of the staff have bank and Sacco loans, unpaid school fees and rent arrears.

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He added that the union’s accounts at KCB Bank and all other banks have restraining court orders served by Mr Sossion and therefore cannot perform any transactions.

Union accounts

The union’s accounts had been changed on August 29 to accommodate Mr Otieno’s signature.

“We're in court waiting for the ruling on September 24. And the payroll will be closed by that time. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has no problem as at now. The challenge is what I have explained above,” said Mr Matiang’i.

At the same time, Mr Sossion has written to TSC protesting against scheduled meetings with the union’s officials in his absence.

In a letter dated September 12, through A.J. Guserwa and Company Advocates, Mr Sossion cautioned against any meetings with the union officials without his knowledge, participation and invitation.

“Our instructions in the matter is to put your office on notice to stop and/or refrain from such conduct without following the laid down procedure for sound and legal industrial relations with our client’s union while observing the protocol required,” states the letter.

Knut gets Sh140 million monthly as union dues which is used to pay salaries for staff in its 110 branches across the country.

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