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Put up or ship out, Mandera Governor tells striking teachers

The Teachers Service Commission has been urged to sack teachers who have refused to go back to Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties citing insecurity.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba also refuted claims by Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto that the body backed the redeployment of teachers from insecurity prone counties of northern Kenya.

“In his private capacity governor Ruto is entitled to his opinion but the Council of Governors has never taken any opinion on the matter. The issue has never been discussed as an agenda at the council,” Mr Roba said.

Speaking to Nairobi News by phone, Mr Roba said the non-local teachers who are camping at TSC headquarters demanding to be transferred from Mandera, Wajir and Garissa should either return to work or be replaced by those willing to work in the areas.

Mr Roba said the teachers applied to work in the areas on their own and that they were recruited from the ground.

“They were not transferred to the areas… those now not willing to work should be sacked. There are many Kenyans willing to go to work in the areas,” Mr Roba said.

Mr Roba denied claims that non-local teachers working in the three counties were mistreated saying saying they could not have remained silent for that long.

“Why are they sharing the information now. Even information of Kenyans being mistreated in places like Saudi Arabia find way in national media immediately,” Mr Roba said.

MISTREATMENT

He said most government departments in the area are headed by on-locals who could have been alerted incase of any mistreatment of teachers.

The governor told Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary general Wilson Sossion to “stop looking for popularity using a national issue of teachers leaving the region.”

“Sossion should come to Mandera Town and see how security has been beefed up. Discussing mass transfer of teachers is uncalled for. Mandera, Wajir and Garissa are not the only places where there have been mass killings of Kenyans,” Mr Roba said.

Mr Roba said the national government has done much to ensure security in Mandera Town and its environs which suffered several terror attacks last year. 

He said the attacks in Mandera mainly concentrated on a 50 kilometres radius near Somalia border yet the county measured more than 26,000 square kilometres.

A meeting last week to persuade the teachers to go back to work in north eastern counties failed and the teachers vowed to continue camping at their employer’s offices until they are given letters of transfer.

The teachers had met with business leaders from northern Kenya who assured them that they would make the region conducive for teaching.