Page 2 / NATIONAL NEWS
Thursday, February 20, 2014/ The Standard
VCs may face House team over salaries
Last week, the VCs admitted that some Sh2.1 billion had not been spent even as they claimed to have hon-oured the Collective Bargaining Agree-ments (CBAs).
This ﬁgure was revised upwards last week from the initial Sh1.3 billion the previous week.
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
Vice-chancellors of public uni-versities will tomorrow be grilled by a parliamentary committee over Sh3.9 billion salary award to their staff, if efforts to harmonise the payment schedules collapse today. A nine-member team tasked with harmonising the accounts ends its meeting today even as the two university staff unions laid fresh claims that some Sh909 mil-lion has not been accounted for by their bosses. A joint brief by the Kenya Uni-versity Staff Union (Kusu) and the University Academic Staff union (Uasu) says the vice-chancellors are yet to account for the money, bringing the total of unaccounted funds to over Sh3 billion.
NAIROBI: Farmers to be assisted to access markets
More than 100,000 small scale farmers in drought-prone counties in Kenya are to beneﬁt from an ambitious plan aimed at helping them access markets. The project will beneﬁt small holder farmers inKitui, Meru North, Tharaka Nithi and Machakos. Dr James Nyoro, the Special Advisor to the President of Kenya on Agriculture, said the programme will directly contribute towards increasing commercialisation and competitiveness of agricultural commodities. The initiative is a partnership between United State Agency for International Development and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.
NAIROBI: Anti-polio drive gets Sh2.8 billion boost
Efforts to eradicate polio in Africa and Asia have received a Sh2.8 billion boost from the Rotary Organisation. The funding comes at a time when the drive on eradication of the disease is focusing on Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan where the virus remains endemic. Afghanistan will get $6.8 million, Nigeria $7.7 million and Pakistan $926,000. Unicef is planning to use $2.73 million of the grant in bolstering vaccination activities throughout the Horn of Africa as part of an on-going response to an outbreak that began in 2013 and which has already infected more than 200 children.
KITUI: Man charged with swindling KU lecturer
A man who defrauded a lecturer at Kenyatta University, Kitui Campus, was yesterday charged in a Kitui court with four counts of the criminal acts. ‘Dr’ Wanjala remained composed as the charges were read to him. He denied them. He is accused that on diverse dates between February 10 and 13 in Kitui Township he defrauded a lecturer at Kenyatta University, Kitui Campus, Mr Geoffrey Sichangi Mukhono, of Sh19,600, pretending he would employ him in his organisation ‘The Agricultural Research Marketing and Extension Services.’ He was remanded at the Kitui police cells.
Kuppet refutes claims it signed an agreement to merge with Knut
trix” says the main objective of the ﬁrst phase is for the top union ofﬁcials to “accept and own the merger pro-cess.” The expected outcome was agreed to be “sanctioning the merger process.” Knut yesterday said they have started the process as per the agree-ment and produced minutes to that effect dated February 3 this year.The union leadership also indicat-ed that the agreement was to result in-to a merger and not a ‘federation.’
Sossion said the union is prepared to enter into the next phase of the pro-cess, but expressed concern that Kup-pet may not have not even started im-plementing the he agreement.“We are doing this not because of selﬁsh interests but because a new re-port has indicated that the education sector has lagged behind because of squabbles between the two teachers unions,” said Sossion. Misori yesterday accused Knut
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
The two teachers’ unions have clashed over a merger deal they signed early this year to bolster their bargain-ing power.The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) yester-day disowned the merger agreement and accused the giant teachers’ union of “mischief and dishonesty”.This emerged as Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) insisted that Kuppet, through its national chair-man Omboko Milemba, committed itself to a merger brokered by Educa-tion International, a global union fed-eration of teachers’ trade unions.Copies of the “unity project” docu-ment signed by the two unions say: “The Kenyan programme resulting in a merger should be completed by May 31, 2014, as per the matrix activities.” Knut Secretary General Wilson Sos-sion purportedly signed the docu-ment dated January 27 on behalf of the union.
Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori said the union will never merge with Knut but indicated that they wel-come unity talks although each union should retain its identity.“If it is about forming a federation, then we can talk as we shall maintain our distinct identities. We ask our members to be steadfast and watch out for people out to divide them,” said Misori.Related documents indicate that the individual unions should have started sensitisation talks for the unions’ top leadership as the ﬁrst phase towards a merger.The document dubbed “unity ma-
The union’s boss accuses Knut of mischief and dishonesty, saying they are not aware of any such deal
President Uhuru Kenyatta yester-day used his national identity card in-stead of passport as he travelled to Kampala, Uganda, for an East African Community summit.This follows the introduction of the new system where East African citizens will be using national IDs and voter’s cards as travel documents.Under the new arrangement, Ke-nyans and Rwandans will be using na-tional IDs while Ugandans will use voter’s cards as travel documents when entering or leaving any of the three countries. Rwandan students will also be al-lowed to use their student cards as travel documents. The system be-came operational last month.President Kenyatta, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and host President Yoweri Museveni are expected to review the implementation of infrastructure projects to ease movement of goods and people in the region during the summit.The summit will also discuss the progress made in the implementation of the Joint Visa between Kenya, Ugan-da and Rwanda. The visa, which costs $100 (Sh8,600) and is valid for 90 days, enables visitors to travel around the three countries without seeking any other travel document.President Kenyatta was seen off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Deputy President William Ruto.
Uhuru uses ID card as travel document in trip to Uganda
leadership of doublespeak. “They talk of a merger on one hand and on the other hand talk of another trade cen-tre. So who is being honest?” said Mis-ori.“There is no merger and we shall not merge with Knut,” he said. According to the merger matrix document, the second phase would entail sensitisation of branch execu-tives to own the merger process in the. This phase, according to the docu-ments, should last one month. The third phase as per the agree-ment is for the two unions to outline the merger modalities. Here, the National Executive Councils (NEC) of each union is ex-pected to come up with resolutions supporting the merger as well as a framework on the same. This phase was expected to take between two months and be concluded by March.The last phase of the merger re-quires both unions to call a special delegates conference to ratify the res-olutions of the merger.
If it is about forming a federation, then we can talk as we shall maintain our distinct identities. We ask our members to be steadfast and watch out for people out to divide them
— Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori
We are doing this not because of selﬁsh interests but because a new report has indicated that the education sector has lagged behind because of squabbles between the two teachers’ unions
— Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion
“These ﬁgures have been so incon-sistent and we still demand that the CBAs are fully implemented. There shall be no compromise on that,” said Kusu Secretary General Charles Mukh- waya. A technical team comprising four members from Kusu and Uasu and an-other ﬁve from universities are cur-rently merging the two ﬁnancial re-ports as ﬁled by the unions and universities.“We hope that the exercise will be concluded today so that we meet MPs tomorrow,’ said Mukhwaya. Last week, House Education com-mittee chair Sabina Chege
said each university would be individ-ually responsible for their expenditure. Education PS Bellio Kipsang also indicated that each university would be treated individually.
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
A new report by a global teachers lobby has revealed that the rivalry be-tween the two teachers unions wors-ens quality of education in the coun-try.The report ﬁnds that the fragmen-tation of the teachers unions height-ens rivalry that also splits members thus lowering productivity of the teachers. The report by Education Interna-tional (EI) indicates that continued-squabbling between the Kenya Na-tional Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Ed-ucation Teachers (Kuppet) will further hurt the sector.
‘There is a lot of rivalry between Knut and Kuppet so the education sector is suffering because these two unions are always ﬁghting,” says the report.It says that there is s strong rela-tionship between multiplicity of trade unions and quality of education.“Union fragmentation and its as-sociated burden on education policy and programme implementation compromise quality of teaching and learning,” reads the report that covers Benin, Botswana, Cote D’Ivore, Zam-bia and Kenya.It quotes responses from parents’ respondents, who also expressed con-cern over the effects of teachers’ unions’ rivalry. “Teachers are unable to complete the syllabus because they are always ﬁghting and going on strikes. This affects performance of pupils and students,” reads the report by EI.
Report: Union rivalry hurting education sector