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The Standard May 6th 2013

The Standard May 6th 2013

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Published by Bobby Martinez

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Published by: Bobby Martinez on May 06, 2013
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The first major politicalshowdown looms in Parliamenttomorrow after a weekend in which the two main coalitionsstuck to their guns on thecontroversy over key Housecommittees.By late yesterday Jubilee andCord officials had not reached acompromise on the compositionof the Public Accounts Committee(PAC) and Public InvestmentCommittee (PIC), potentially threatening to disrupt the budgetprocess.Budget estimates tabled inParliament on Thursday shouldhave been referred to departmentalcommittees, which however are yet to be established due to thestandoff over PIC and PAC.CORD insists that PAC and PICare tasked with the responsibility of putting the executive in check and thus the ruling coalition mustnot constitute a majority membership.CORD, which is the minority party in the National Assembly,has vowed to sabotageparliamentary business tomorrow by failing to name its representativesto various parliamentary committees and storming out of 
No. 29320
KSh 50/00 TSh1000/00 USh1500/00
Kenya’s Bold Newspaper
Monday, May 6, 2013
New strike threatas schools reopen
A schoolboy samples new textbooks at Safi Bookshop in Kakamega yesterday in preparation for school reopening.
Wamalwa widowtold to accountfor millions -P8
<< Out of the closet:
They are thievesmasquerading as
chips fungas 
Teachers vow to paralyse public schools after secret pay talksbetween Knut and the Government end in deadlock 
Public schools reopen today under the threat of a strike by teachers after secret talks betweentheir union and employer on a pay rise collapsed.It comes on the heels of theParliamentary Service Commissionbudgeting for higher salaries of Members of the National Assembly and Senate.The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), whose chairman Wilson Sossion has backed the MPssalary demands, was in talks with theTeachers Service Commissioner(TSC) on revocation of a legal noticethat overruled payment of hefty allowances to teachers.Under a 1997 agreement, theteachers were entitled to a raft of allowances totaling Sh24 billionannually, but the Narc Governmentin disowned the deal in 2003 througha legal notice.If the new perks wereimplemented, the lowest paidteacher in Job Group F, who earnsSh16, 692, would pocket an additional
The Perfect Way ToKick Off Your Week.
Jubilee andCORD headedfor showdownin Parliament
Knut can call a strikeany minute because wehad already compliedwith the law in February
SossionSpeaker Justin Muturi
Monday, May 6, 2013 / The Standard
We wrote to theminister and he alsoresponded. The views alsoincorporated the advicefrom Attorney General andthat is still the position
— TSCSecretary, Gabriel Lengoiboni
Schools reopen as tutors'unions insist on strike over pay deal
Sh11, 616 a month in allowances. InFebruary, Knut declared a strike aterthe Government ailed to revoke thelegal notice, even ater direction by aparliamentary committee, prompting authorities to initiate resh talks.However, the latest month-long talks brokered by a State-appointedconciliator, Mr J N Makaa, ailed andKnut has vowed to press on with thestrike.Sources amiliar with the matter say the State was not keen to part with Sh2billion monthly as it would worsen thealready spiralling wage bill that Presi-dent Uhuru Kenyatta has stated isunsustainable.Separately, Knut and the KenyaUnion o Post Primary EducationTeachers (Kuppet), which have a mem-bership o more than 250,000, haveissued a 14-day strike notice over an-other dispute.
Unresolved dispUte
The ultimatum, which expires onMonday, is to protest the TSC’s reezeon promotion o teachers and the withdrawal o hardship allowances insome parts o the country. Yesterday, Sossion told
The Stan-dard 
they would ask their members toboycott work.“Ater the certifcate o disagree-ment was issued it meant that Knutcan call a strike any minute because wehad already complied with the law inFebruary,” Sossion said.“We will reactivate the strike be-cause we had only suspended indus-trial action to give room or talks. Allorgans o Knut had sanctioned thestrike.”Through a letter dated March 27,Makaa declared the dispute betweenthe State and Knut over the legal no-tice, which Knut claims illegally amended the allowances negotiated in1997, had not been resolved.“Following conciliation eorts Ihereby confrm that the dispute re-mains unresolved as provided by sec-tion 69 o the Labour Relations Act2007 on the core contention o the de-gazetted Legal Notice No. 16 0 2003,”reads part o the letter a copy o which
The Standard 
obtained. “The partiesare at liberty to advance the subjectdispute to the next level.”
Recruitment o senior sta to theTeachers Service Commission is ac-ing another legal hurdle, i all the eightpositions or commissioners are ad-vertised or replacement. Another round o legal battle islooming i positions o the two com-missioners who were interviewed by the James Kamunge-led panel are alsoput up or resh interviews.The term or current fve commis-sioners expires mid-next month and
The Standard 
has established the po-sitions may be advertised this week.However, reports that the commis-sion is set to re-advertise the two slots whose names were rejected by Parlia-ment is threatening to cripple it op-erations. This is because a ruling by Justice David Majanja directed thePresident nominate resh names rominterviewed and shortlisted candi-dates in accordance with Section8(11) o TSC Act, 2012 to fll the slots.This means that the replacemento the two positions should be doneby resh names rom names the listKamunge panel proposed.Those nominated or appointmentin the initial list were Kahindi ZiroJames, Fredrick Haga Ochieng’ and Adan Sheikh Abdullahi. Cleopas Tirop, who had emerged tops in the inter-view was missing in the list.This list was rejected and thenames taken back to the Presidentand a new one presented to the House,this time with Tirop, Ochieng’, Abdul-lahi and that o the chairperson.But a Mr Abdi Sitar Yusu went tocourt to block the three commission-ers’ names arguing the list was irregu-larly approved. The court blockedOchieng’ and Abdullahi but clearedTirop and he was sworn in lastmonth. According to the court ruling, therejection o Ochieng’ and Abdullahilet the President with one duty o nominating resh names rom among the list. This means these two slotsshould not be re-advertised. And i merit is a actor in the replacement o these two commissioners, Dr JuliusJwan and Saadia Abdi Kontomashould constitute the resh list. According to the score sheet, Jwan who represented Nyanza scored 71.8even as Ochieng’ scored 71.6 and waspicked in the rejected list. Saadiascored 69.7 coming second to Abdul-lahi who scored 70.3. With the two rejected, Jwan andSaadia should be the automatic ben-efciaries in the merit list. And now, Sitar who blocked theappointments o the two now warnsshould the two positions also be re-advertised, he will move to courtagain to block the entire process. Thismeans the commission shall be un-constitutional as only one commis-sion shall be in ofce.“I these two slots are sent or aresh round o interviews then it willbe contempt o court and we shallmove to block the entire process,”said Sitar.
TSC faces new obstacle in commissioners appointment
Knut argued the letter by Makaa,according to the Labour Relations Act,allows them two options: to withdraw labour or move to the industrialcourt.The union has ruled out going tocourt and says based on Makaa’s letter,the State has essentially given theirimpending strike legal recognition. According to the Act, a strike is pro-tected i the eort by a conciliator ailsand a certifcate o disagreement is is-sued.“I a trade union dispute is not re-solved ater conciliation a party to thedispute may reer it to the IndustrialCourt in accordance with the rules o the Industrial Court,” reads section 73o the Act.
terms and Conditions
The Act also protects all teachers who will participate in the strike underSection 76.A person may participate in a strikeor lock-out i the trade dispute thatorms the subject o the strike or lock out concerns terms and conditions o employment...”
• Commissioners David Kuno, RoseMogoi Sereti, Meshack Llanziva,Monica Kilonzo and Lucy Njeru willvacate their ofces by June 14.• Only former Nairobi School prin
cipal Cleopas Tirop who was swornin last week by Chief Justice Wil
ly Mutunga will remain in ofcethrowing service delivery at TSCinto dilemma.This is likely to create an avenuefor any concerned citizen to chal
lenge the constitutionality of thecomposition of the commission incourt.
Under this section o the Act, atrade dispute is deemed to be unre-solved ater conciliation i the concili-ator issues a certifcate that the disputehas not been resolved.Makaa’s letter is copied to TSC sec-retary Gabriel Lengoiboni and theFederation o Kenyan Employees, La-bour Commissioner and the Secretary General, Conederation o Civil Ser-vants Union (Pusetu).Lengoiboni confrmed that thetalks did not yield a solution and saidthey are not at war with the unions.He said the report by the HouseImplementation Committee indicatedthat Parliament should ask the Educa-tion minister to de-gazzette the legalnotice.“We wrote to the minister and healso responded. The views also incor-porated the advise rom the attorney General and that is still the position,”Lengoiboni said.
learning paralysed
Under a 1997 agreement, teachers were supposed to earn hal their basicpay as house allowance. They were alsoto pocket 20 per cent o their basic pay as medical allowance and another 10per cent o their salary towards com-muter allowance.But the contentious Legal NoticeNo. 16 o 2003 stopped the enjoymento these perks.The Government has always heldthat this particular notice overturnedLegal Notice No.534 o 1997 under which all the allowances in question were negotiated and agreed upon.This was also the cause o last year’sthree-week nationwide teachers strikethat saw learning paralysed in all pub-lic schools across the country.
Continued from P1
B JosepH mUCHiri
  A teachers’ union has expresseddisappointment at the Government’s withdrawal o hardship allowances o some teachers and ailure to promoteothers.Kenya National Union o Teachersfrst national women representativeDorothy Muthoni said they could notunderstand why their gains o many  years were being withdrawn.“How can hardship allowance thata member has enjoyed or years justbe withdrawn? There is no way youcan reduce someone’s earnings as thisis against the labour laws and the In-ternational Labour Organisation,”said Muthoni.She said thousands o teachers inMeru North, Taita Taveta and Kerichohad been aected by the withdrawal.She said teachers never went to Teach-ers Service Commission ofces or theTreasury to make their payrolls as itsalways done on merit and thus won-dered how it can be reduced.
pre-eleCtion deals
“We want to tell TSC we will nottake this lying down, so they shouldreinstate the hardship allowance orthe teachers. We also demand they give thesame allowance to areas that deservebut have been denied. Why shouldthey cause tension among teachers while we are law-abiding citizens?”asked Muthoni.She asked the commission to hon-our the Legal Notice No. 534 o 1997and their structured dialogue prior tothe General Election in which they agreed the Legal Notice No. 16 o 2003be removed as it was denying teacherstheir allowances.She said while they do not want tocontemplate downing their tools, itappeared as i teachers would alwayshave to go on strike or their griev-ances to be listened and addressed.Muthoni also said that teachersshould be promoted ater getting acertain qualifcation and questioned why it was not being done.
Knut officialfaults move todeny teachersallowances
Teachers participate in a past strike. Teachers’ unions — Knut and Kuppet — have issued a strike notice.
ery term. This is very expensive toparents. The design is not also a-vourable to children, who complainthat they are very heavy,” she said.Supermarkets were yesterday  jammed with shoppers ocking theoutlets to buy stu or their chil-dren.Transport was also a problem orthose going travelling upcountry asmany buses were booked to capaci-ty.Long distance transport compa-nies Easy Coach, Crown and Guard-ian were ully booked leaving many students and their parents stranded.Ongoing rains that have killed andcaused destruction in many parts o the country are also a headache toparents.In Nyanza and Coast regions, therains have rendered amilies’ home-less. This might hinder opening o 
Monday, May 6, 2013 / The Standard
Ms Nancy Ndinda, an attendant at a Bata shop along Muindi Mbingu Street, Nairobi, assists Mary Majanja, 7, to ft a pairo shoes beore purchasing, yesterday.
Insecurity, foodsworry parents asschools reopen
 As schools re-open or secondterm today, parents are a worriedlot.The tough economic situationnotwithstanding, parents are con-cerned o insecurity, oods and highcosts o school items.
The Standard 
established thatmany parents, even as they deepdeeper into their pockets take theirchildren back to school, they are con-cerned with rising insecurity andheavy rains.Many expressed ears o upsurgeo crime in various part o the coun-try. Yesterday, many school outft andstationery shops in Nairobi remainedclosed save or a ew like Bata. Theshops, however, registered low turnout.
NExt wEEk
The situation is a break rom thepast where at such a time, many par-ents would have thronged retail out-lets in last minute rush to purchaseshoes and other items or their chil-dren. Varda Nita, a Standard One pupilat Advent Hill Primary School in Nai-robi, was among those out shopping  with her parent. The school she at-
Parents troubled byrising cases of insecurityand oods, which hasdisrupted transport anddisplaced thousands
tends opens next week. However, herparent was keen to get her all the nec-essary items yesterday.“Nita is going back to school next week. Am getting her ready to avoidlast minute rush,” stated Peris Maina,Nita’s mother while purchasing hershoes. Another parent, Zaccheus Ma-donde, was also buying shoes or herStandard Seven daughter Brina Gore-tti.“I always preer to get Goretti’sthings ready earlier than this, but Ihave been quite busy, orcing me todo her shopping today (yesterday),”he noted.
Mr Madonde, however, admittedthat even though his daughter is in aprivate school, he is worried with thelatest happenings in the educationsector.“Teachers are threatening to go onstrike. This does not augur well even with children in private schools,” hestated. At another Bata shop along Muindi Mbingu Street, Mary Majan- ja, a student at Braeside High School, was also ftting new shoes.Majanja’s mother noted that theshoes are expensive but not long last-ing. “We are orced to buy shoes ev-
Teachers arethreatening to go on strike.This does not augur welleven with children inprivate schools
— Mr ZaccheusMadonde, a parent
Back to school
many learning institutions.Schools in aected areas mightnot open today since they are hosting displaced amilies.Hundreds o people have beendisplaced in Homa Bay, Kilif andKisumu counties and are camping inschools. Also, about 100 amilies atKisumu Ndogo slums in Kilif towncould be rendered homeless as theirmud houses are almost getting sub-merged by oods.
highER gROuNdS
The situation is not any better inRachuonyo in Homa Bay County andKano Plains in Kisumu County. Aected amilies have been orcedto move to higher grounds while oth-ers have sought shelter in nearby churches and primary schools.There are possibilities that schoolsoering temporary shelter to oodvictims might not open today. Someschools have also been destroyed, while in others, pupils might not turnup since they have also been aectedby oods.In Tana River County, Kenya RedCross Society has noted that morethan 50,000 people have been dis-placed in the area. This will obvious-ly paralyse learning in the region.The new wave o crime in parts o  Western Province is a major concernto many parents and their childrenlearning in the region.Even as schools resume, parentshave sought assurance rom the Gov-ernment that their children will besae.Over 100 people, including chil-dren, have been attacked in the re-cent past in Busia and Bungomacounties, sending panic among resi-dents.

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