September 22nd 2017

Top Stories / National

Unions table demands on corruption, warn of general strike if government fails test

Sossion has been instrumental in building labour solidarity in Kenya, leading a one-man struggle towards greater involvement by trade unions in politics. He was the force behind the formation of TUC-Ke as a second national labour centre and counterweight to the pliant COTU.

By Soilan Kenanaskenana@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 10 Nov 2016 12:40 EAT

KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion addressing the press yesterday. (Photo: Tobbie Wekesa/Kenya Free Press).

KNUT secretary general Wilson Sossion addressed a news conference yesterday whose import would soon be lost were it not for the harsh condemnations against rampant corruption in government and his call for a general strike. Mr Sossion, who is also the secretary general of the Trade Unions Congress of Kenya (TUC-Ke) censured the Jubilee Government for the high level corruption under it and asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to act on graft with immediate effect. Mr Sossion said: "In the recent past, the levels of corruption as practiced within the government has hit the roof and eroding all gains made in the country’s development agenda.”

At a press conference held at KNUT offices, TUC-Ke said they had run out of patience as their members had been denied fair remuneration and provision of services to workers in the Public Sector when substantial resources were being wasted through corruption. The unionists enumerated specific steps the government should take in dealing with corruption, failure of which they will call their members to the streets for a one-month protest for the realization of the end of corruption.

Among their demands, the unions want President Uhuru to decisively deal with his cabinet without mercy, fire all ministers and reconstitute a clean cabinet made up of persons with high integrity. They also want the heads of the Judiciary, E.A.C.C, D.P.P, and C.I.D. to account to Kenyans by showing what progress they had made in the last few years in the war against graft. 

In addition, all Parliamentary Accounts Committee findings in investigations about corruption from both the 10th and 11th Parliaments should be forwarded to the D.P.P who should then immediately prefer charges against culprits identified in the reports. Lastly, the President should address the nation immediately on the skyrocketing corruption and do the same every three months to update the country on the progress of the war against graft.

Since becoming KNUT secretary general in December 2013, Mr Sossion has been instrumental in efforts to build labour solidarity in Kenya, leading a one-man struggle towards greater involvement by trade unions in politics. He was the force behind the formation of TUC-Ke as a second national labour centre to provide a counterweight to the more pliant Central Organisation of Trade Unions. Late last year, he swore to help kick out the Jubilee government from power at the 2017 elections, accusing the president and his deputy of tolerating rampant corruption, including the NYS scandal then being debated.

A fiery speaker, Mr Sossion has tried to encourage more unions to come together to demand change to the political order in Kenya that he says doesn't work for workers, but many unions are stuck with leaderships that do not make immediate connections between politics and the lives their members live. Yesterday, he strongly condemned the confrontations between deputy president William Ruto and former cabinet minister Anne Waiguru, who have been trading accusations over who between them was responsible for the loss of billions of shillings from the National Youth Service.

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