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Defiant North Eastern teachers risk losing jobs

27 January 2015, 08:13 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Teachers working in North Eastern have been told to report back to work by next week Monday, or be sacked.

The teachers have vowed not to return to work in the region because they fear for their safety following the spate of terror attacks witnessed in the region last year.

Garissa Town MP and the National Assembly Majority Leader, Aden Duale together with 10 legislators from the region, including the Mandera Governor, Ali Roba said the government has assured them of up-scaled security in the region and threatened through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to fire those who fail to report to work.

“We had a meeting with officials from the interior and education ministries and the TSC. We appreciate the concerns of North Eastern-based teachers and all people from the region relating to insecurity. The government has up-scaled security in the region particularly along the borders and assured the teachers of their security and safety,” said Duale.

“Last week the Senate committee on Security toured Mandera County to know the up-scaled level of security in the region. All private school teachers including non-Somalis in the region have returned to work and all health workers. If the public school teachers don’t return to Mandera by Monday next week, we will ask TSC to give chance to the unemployed teachers in the country to teach in the region,” he added.

Duale said over 260 teachers in Wajir, 500 in Mandera and 94 in Garissa have not reported to work and that the situation is unfair since children’s right to education is being interfered with.

He condemned KNUT Secretary General, Wilson Sossion’s ‘incitement’ to teachers not to return to North Eastern plea by seeking transfers from TSC to teach in safe regions.

“Sossion should stop inciting teachers from returning to the region because of the witnessed insecurity. There has been insecurity across the country ranging from the Westgate terror attack, the Lamu massacre, Baringo and Kapedo, but all these cannot be the cause of withdrawing public servants from the affected regions,” said Duale.

Also read: Unions warn thousands of workers to leave restive north

Mandera Governor, Ali Roba said his government is going to ensure all teachers are safe and also warned Sossion against inciting them to seek transfers.

“Sossion is a national leader with his union having majority of public servants. We cannot expect him to incite teachers so that they don’t return to North Eastern,” said Roba.

He added that Al-Shabaab’s intention is to divide Kenyans along religious line and the teachers’ refusal to return to the region will be a big achievement to the terror group’s objective.

Roba also said the move will be promoting tribalism by limiting services to be offered by public servants to their own regions of birth.

The leaders were addressing the press at Parliament Buildings.

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