No end to KUPPET wrangles as five branch officials sue it for violating Constitution

William Lengoiyap, Samburu KUPPET Executive Secretary. Together with four other colleagues, they are back in court over violation of the 2010 Constitution by the union.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) is on the spot again after some five branch officials took it to court over violation of the 2010 Constitution as well as the union’s constitution.

In the affidavit filed in the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) by the officials; William Lengoyiap, Mathew Mweimuk, Peter Omondi Oluoch, Faith Kebut, and Charles Ng’eno, KUPPET has been accused of violating the fundamental rights and freedoms of the members by introducing the 2012 constitutional amendments, which were implemented in the 2017 Constitution.

They argued that the constitution itself is rogue as at no time did the members of the union alter or amend it.

“That further, at no time did the members of the Respondent alter or amend the said Constitution and Rules registered with the Registrar of Trade Unions at the time the registration of the union until in the year 2010 when the amendments were done by members and the same used in the 2011 Union General Elections. These amendments culminated in the Respondents Union’s Constitution dully registered in 2012,” reads the affidavit in part.

Among the amendments in the 2017 Constitution that the five officials are opposed to include Article 8.6.0(b), which states that the members of the National Executive Board shall work on full time basis provided that any member who gets engaged as a State officer shall serve on part time basis.

Article 12.0(b) which sets the mandatory retirement age of the union officials at 65 years is also in contention, as well as Article 13.0 (b) which suggests that any branch official contesting for any national position will have to resign from their branch positions not later than 31 days before the national elections.

The officials said that the 2017 Constitution should not be in place as the said amendments were never proposed by the members, and neither was due process followed in reaching the said amendments, hence violating Article 10(1) of the 2010 Constitution, which provides that national values and principles of governance apply to State organs, State officers, and all persons whenever they are interpreting the Constitution or enacting or interpreting any law.

Consequently, it goes against the union Constitution of 2012 under Article 25, which requires that before the constitution is amended, it has to undergo public participation across the country.

For retirement age, the officials argued that it should be 60 years as all other public servants since the members of the union are teachers employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC), a government agency bound by Public Service Commission (PSC).


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