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Teachers turn Knut head office into home away from home

Teachers working in  northern Kenya have for the last three days turned the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) head office in Nairobi into their home as they continue to push for deployment from the restive region.

The teachers, who stage daily demonstrations outside the Teacher Service Commission offices in Upper Hill,  now live at the Knut’s boardroom.

A visit by Nairobi News on Wednesday revealed that female teachers are living in the boardroom with their children.

They clean their laundry in the washroom’s sinks and hang them at the rooftop of the building to dry.

Some of the washed laundry that was aired on the rooftop. PHOTO | EVELYNE MUSAMBI
Some of the washed laundry that was aired on the rooftop. PHOTO | EVELYNE MUSAMBI

TERROR ATTACKS

One of the teachers, who is stationed in Wajir, said he survived two terror attacks and there was no way he was going back.

“I am still very young with small children and a young wife. If I go back and get killed who will fend for them?” he posed.

He said he had survived a blast at the Ngamia hotel in Wajir town, located near a police post and National Intelligence Service offices, and had witnessed the slow response by security officers.

He said the incident vindicated his doubt on the ability of the police to rein in insecurity in the region.

The teacher showed Nairobi News a Facebook status update by a former colleague, a Wajir resident who has since joined the county government, that threatened non-Somali workers.

The update condemned the deployment of non-Somali workers to the region, and called for the transfer of all public servants  as well.

Comments on the update from Wajir residents were in support of his sentiments.

EASY TARGETS

The teachers living at Knut offices are worried that they will be targeted should they return to their stations because they have already been seen in the media protesting.

“The residents and even terror groups have already seen us protesting severally in the media and so they know us and are likely to target us when we go back,” said a teacher.

The teachers stated that they want to be transferred to other regions and recommended that the government hires teachers from the region or redeploy others who have not collided with residents.

“Already they know us and they know where we live. If new teachers go to that region they will not be targeted as they will not have interacted with them in the past like we have,” said another teacher.

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion had on Tuesday tweeted that the teachers were putting up at the boardroom as they wait for the employer to issue transfer letters.

He was later summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department on claims that he was inciting teachers.