Wilson Sossion Deregistered: BY DAILY NATION: The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has been allowed to deregister Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion following his entry into politics.
Employment and Labour Court Judge Nelson Abuodha on Friday held that Mr Sossion’s election as a union official was underpinned by the fact that he was and remained a teacher. He was therefore subject to regulations governing the teaching service.
Further, that section 16 of the Teachers Code of Conduct and Ethics (2015) requires a teacher to maintain political neutrality at all times and shall not act in a manner that may compromise or be perceived to compromise his or her neutrality.
“The acceptance of the nomination to National Assembly by ODM obviously puts Mr Sossion on a partisan political activity. It was a manifestation of an agreement to support ODM agenda both in and outside Parliament,” said Justice Abuodha.
The judge noted that this was inconsistent with his contractual obligation to TSC as a teacher. The relationship he had with TSC was contractual and could be terminated by either party for lawful reasons.
“TSC has ably demonstrated that Mr Sossion’s association and acceptance of nomination as a Member of Parliament on ODM party ticket went against its tenets as an institution in charge of regulations and discipline of those in teaching service,” justice Abuodha.
Provisions of Public Officer Ethics Act clear show that Mr Sossion’s act of accepting nomination to Parliament on ODM party ticket contravened these provisions.
TSC had argued that Mr Sossion’s acceptance of nomination to Parliament by a partisan political party was inconsistent with his position as a public officer and a teacher under control and supervision by the commission.
“It is not for the court to scrutinise and over analyse the reason for which employment contract has been terminated by the employer provided the reasons on the face of it are reasonable,” Justice Abuodha said.
Mr Sossion had sought to justify his acceptance of the nomination to Parliament by ODM saying he was nominated as a special category to represent workers.
The judge said that whereas this may be so, as far as TSC was concerned, the release of Mr Sossion from active teaching was to enable him to focus on Knut activities which exclusively concerned teachers’ affairs.
“It is doubtful if such release could be extended to include nomination to Parliament by a partisan political party. To this extent, the court is satisfied that there existed valid reasons for the termination of Mr Sossion’s contract as a teacher,” Justice Abuodha said.