The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) replaced its immediate former Secretary-General, Wilson Sossion over the weekend.
Meet the man who has replaced Sossion in KNUT
In elections held on Saturday, Collins Oyuu emerged as the new Secretary-General, unopposed and is set to hold the position for the next five years.
Others who were elected unopposed were: Patrick Kariga (Chairperson), Hesbon Otieno (Deputy Secretary-General), James Ndiku (National Treasurer) and Hussein Ali Abdi (Deputy National Treasurer).
Oyuu has a challenge in filling the shoes of his predecessor, Sossion, who made for himself a name and a reputation as one of the union's most vocal leaders.
Oyuu, 56, had been serving as the acting KNUT chairperson and had accused Sossion of orchestrating the challenges which faced KNUT in recent days.
"I am now the seventh Secretary General of KNUT, a union over 60 years old, older than the government of Kenya I want to say that the new leadership is prepared to bring change to the union," he stated after being elected unopposed.
He added: "The union is a pale shadow of its former self... The membership has dropped from over 200,000 to about 15,000, but I believe with proper structures, we shall bring back Knut to where it was."
Collins Oyuu History in KNUT
Oyuu started out as a primary school teacher in Siaya county, by 1996 he joined the Union as an elected branch executive.
By 2002 he had risen through the ranks to become Bondo Branch chairperson and Secretary General of Rarieda branch in 2008.
The KNUT SG would, in 2013, join the larger KNUT steering Committee where he would serve as acting assistant Sec-Gen and in 2015 was confirmed for the position.
In a 2018 by-election he rose to the position of KNUT vice chairperson.
Sossion resigned on Friday, June 25, stating that he wished to pursue his political prospects.
"I have, therefore, today decided that in the interest of KNUT, its membership and myself, I hereby honourably bow out of KNUT leadership, I shall remain loyal to KNUT and always available to advice and support the leadership.
"I have outgrown KNUT and I believe I should now move fully to the political world to participate in shaping and promoting democracy and good governance and representation of the people of this good country," he stated.
Lauding his own efforts during his eight-year tenure as the Union's Sec-Gen, Sossion also extended his appreciation to President Uhuru Kenyatta for elevating teachers' salaries.
"Under my watch as the Sec-Gen of KNUT, I managed to successfully push for teachers better terms and conditions of service, salary and allowance increments.
"I thank Retired-President Mzee Mwai Kibaki for his leadership style and fully recognizing the role of trade unions in the modern world. During Kibaki's time there was respect and consideration of labour rights for workers unlike today where a section of government regards unions as enemies of the State.
"I sincerely thank His Excellency President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta for engaging us severally and ensuring that labour issues were well resolved. Current earning by teachers are largely attributed to him individually," Sossion's statement read in part.
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