Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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The officials from left secretary Makhino, chairman Wakoli(C) and treasurer Chelogoi showing a sign of solidarity that is there among the teachers as they hold hands after addressing reporters.
Kitale, Trans Nzoia County: As teachers for primary and secondary schools prepare to enter the fourth week of their strike despite the threats of being sacked by the government, over 4000 teachers in Trans Nzoia have revealed that they have all that is required to enable them stay in the strike for as long as it takes.
Speaking to journalists in their office, KNUT Trans Nzoia branch executive officers said that teachers in the area shall not lack the basic necessities that could make them yield to the pressure and threats because most of them have harvested their produce from the farms and can be able to provide for such needs.
"We want to assure the government that we teachers in Trans Nzoia are set to participate in this strike for as long as it takes and therefore the government should be prepared for a real battle because we are now entering the serious stage as if the strike had never started. We are in the harvesting season and therefore we shall not lack food or anything that might make our teachers want to go back to work before we achieve our demands," said Reuben Makhino the branch executive secretary.
Accompanied by the branch chairman Camily Wakoli and treasurer Evans Chelogoi the secretary told teachers to continue staying away from their work stations despite the government threatening to sack them saying it is not possible and they are even used to such threats which they revealed were used during the 1997 strike.
He pointed out that the government is using intimidation and threatening tactics to make teachers accept to go back to work which he said shall not work this time.
The officials further put on notice the upcoming politicians who are aspiring to vie for various elective seats in the next general elections and the sitting members of parliament that their position in the teachers strike shall have a direct impact on their re-election or election in the next polls.
"We want to tell our politicians who are aspiring to vie for certain elective seats and even the current ones that teachers are keenly watching on their stand over the matter and we shall use their position to determine whether to support them in their future political aspirations or not," noted Makhino.
They instead urged more teachers to come out to vie for as many elective seats as possible revealing that they have a good will, network and support of the electorate and therefore stand better chances of securing leadership positions that shall give them a chance to articulate the issues affecting the teachers and the common people whom they interact and live with on a daily basis.
They called upon teachers in Ndia and Mbooni to take note and influence the electorate not to re-elect their current members of parliament Njeru Githae and Mutula Kilonzo who are also ministers for finance and education respectively for refusing to show commitment in addressing the teachers' plight.
At the same time the officials appealed to the two, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga not to bury their heads in the sand during the ongoing impasse that is facing the country.
"The two principals should not bury their heads in the sand over this matter because this is a crisis that is facing the country and hence they must come out set the stage for a conducive environment that shall have the matter solved amicably to bring back normalcy in the sector," said Makhino.
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