Last Updated at: 2020-12-01 22:31:58
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has appealed to the Supreme Court to mediate over the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) continuous contempt of court.
Represented by Senior Counsel, Paul Muite, the union has written to the Supreme Court requesting it to help fast-track pending contempt petition so that the continued willful disobedience of court orders by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is nipped and the once unshakable judicial authority that has suffered such erosion at the hands of State organs, is fully restored.
“While Knut has taken out a formal application citing TSC for contempt of court, the same is yet to be determined for reasons unbeknown to Knut despite overwhelming evidence of TSC’s blatant disregard of court’s judgement,” Paul Muite said in a letter dated 26th of November 2020.
The Senior Counsel stated in the letter that originally, it was TSC that sued Knut, after a declaration of industrial action over the withdrawal of Labour by Knut teachers under Article 41 of the Constitution in December 2018, as a method of settling several industrial cases.
“I write to you on this matter because contempt of court orders and judgments by State organs/officers and commissions has now become the new norm. This constitutes a grave danger to the rule of law.
It is a matter transcending parties in any particular litigation. It is a matter for your office, the Chief Justice.... obedience to court orders is central to the rule of law and judicial authority,” Muite added.
He also said Knut has sought the Chief Justice’s attention owing to disgraceful conduct displayed by the commission, having itself moved to court as an applicant to reject the court’s decision and openly defying and disobeying the court’s judgement.
The tussle between KNUT and TSC has remained unsolved even as Court and Paliarment's effort to calm the situation failed. Knut has threatened to call for teachers to strike once learning resumes in January 2021 citing frustration and unfair treatment by the teachers' employer.
The Ministry of Labour is currently in talks with the teachers union in order to stop the looming strike over feud with TSC. Knut has however maintained that strike is the only language that TSC understands.
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