Kuppet to review, change its Constitution

Kuppet National Officials 2021-2026
Kuppet National Officials 2021-2026

During the National Governing Council meeting on 16 September, the National Executive Board kick- started the process of reviewing the current KUPPET constitution. The meeting was informed that the union would embark on a journey to review the constitution at this year’s Annual Delegates Conference.

Secretary General Akelo Misori called upon branch Executive Secretaries    to    coordinate the collection of views from members and forward the same to the national office. The National Chairman, Hon Omboko Milemba, in whose docket constitution- making rests, told the meeting that the union would appoint a Constitutional Review Committee to collate the views and produce a draft constitution.

The committee, which would be appointed by the Annual Delegates Conference, would have oversight over the entire review process and ensure members’ wishes are upheld. “It is time to move the agenda forward. Just like in the past a Constitutional Review Committee would best shepherd the process,” said Hon Milemba.

During the last review of the Constitution, Hon Milemba (then the Vihiga branch chairman) and Mr John Juma Oyucho from Migori branch co-chaired the committee that midwifed the current KUPPET constitution. Mr Misori, who was the National Chairman then, coordinated their work until the new constitution was promulgated in the run-up to the 2011 union elections.

When the union lacked funds to undertake the review, Mr Misori was able to convince Education International, the global teachers’ unions’ federation, for a grant that helped KUPPET to hire consultants   who   enriched the committee’s synthesis of members’ view and legal drafting. Back then, the main goals of constitutional   reforms   was to align the constitution with the new Kenyan constitution promulgated in 2010, to create a lean leadership structure, disperse powers of the Secretary General and institute accountable decision-making.

The goals were achieved by dispersing the powers of Secretary General across five offices, namely: the office of Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, the National Secretary for Gender, the National Secretary for Tertiary education, and the National Secretary for Secondary sector.

Twelve years down the line, the document, which underwent minimal reviews along the way, has generally served the union well although some of its weaknesses have come to the fore – necessitating the review.

These include persistent gender imbalance, qualification for office during elections, representativeness of the national executive, and catering for technology in the union’s operations. At the NGC meeting, the National Secretary for Gender, Hon Catherine Wambilyanga, decried both the low number of women in the union’s top organ, and lack of representation for Coast, North Eastern and Nairobi regions.

“From experience, gender parity cannot be achieved by election alone,” said Hon Wambilyanga, who believes the Constitution car provide for women nominees to the NEB representing the disadvantaged regions. She also proposed the formation of a Gender Caucus within the union. “Some of us will soon be retiring from the union; we want it to be strong and in the right hands when we leave,” said Njenga Mwethi, the National Treasurer.


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