Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie has directed 11 trade union officials who are now public officers to vacate their positions.
That includes Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General William Sossion and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) chairperson Omboko Milemba.
Ms. Kandie made this known in a special gazette notice dated December 13.
She ordered trade union officials holding elective or nominated positions in Parliament or county assemblies to quit office immediately.
“It is notified for the general information of the public that the following persons being state officers as per provisions of Article 77 and 260 of the Constitution cease to hold office immediately as trade union officials in their respective trade unions,” said Ms. Kandie.
The constitution states that; “A full-time state officer shall not participate in any other gainful employment.”
Sossion was nominated to Parliament by ODM party while Milemba won the Emuhaya MP seat in the August 8 general election.
The Gazette notice also affects Nyeri Governor Edward Kahiga (KNUT executive secretary, Nyeri Branch), Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis (KNUT executive secretary, Baringo), and Union of Kenya Civil Servants secretary general Tom Odege who was elected MP for Nyatike constituency.
Others are Bungoma woman representative Catherine Wambilianga (KUPPET gender secretary), Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui (KUPPET Executive Secretary, Bomet Branch), Richard Cheserem (Baringo KUPPET secretary) and Kericho women county representative Florence Bore (Kericho KUPPET secretary),
John Mwamusi and Mulei Mwalowa complete the list.
Sossion power as head of the giant teachers union has long been called into question before the Gazette was published.
On November 13, KNUT chairman Mudzo Nzili defied a directive from Sossion to go on a mandatory six-month leave pending his retirement in May.
Nzili argued that the directive was null and void as Sossion was not an official due to his new position.