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Threats As Union Officials Re-Elected

The Nation (Nairobi), Sunday 27 May 2001

All incumbent national officials of the Kenya Local Government Workers Union were re-elected yesterday.

The other candidates, however, immediately threatened to challenge the results in court.

At the 26th annual delegates conference at Mombasa's Bandari College, Mr Boniface Munyao was re-elected unopposed as the secretary-general. Mr Frederick Fukwe Tsuma retained the national chairman's berth.

Delegates from Nairobi and Eldoret, however, accused the officials of "luring us" to Mombasa to "merely endorse names already decided by the national office".

Nairobi branch secretary Mukoya Kent said he had been nominated and proposed by his branch only to find his name missing from the candidates' list.

Said he: "I was surprised to learn that my name was missing from the list whereas I had been nominated and proposed by my branch."

He said he would go to court on Monday.

Mr Munyao, however, dismissed his critics as ignorant of what the constitution says. He said a member seeking a national office must be proposed and nominated by four provinces.

But Mr Kent said the 20,000-plus members of the Nairobi City Council might be forced to pull out of the union if the elections are not nullified.

Eldoret delegate Cheruyoit E. Kiptoo accused the officials of forming a cartel to block new entrants from national offices.

The chairman of the Eldoret municipality branch said he would also go to court.

Mr Kent, who was contesting the assistant national secretary-generalship, said City Council workers were not represented in the national office even though they were the majority of the union's membership.

Mr Munyao, however, warned it would be suicidal for Nairobi to pull out of the union as they would have nobody to fight for them against City Hall's proposed worker retrenchments.

Others re-elected were Alois Otiende (deputy secretary-general), Julius ole Apale (assistant secretary general), Stephen Kibaya (treasurer), Michael Wachira (assistant treasurer) and James Kamau Ng'ang'a (auditor).

Copyright 2001 The Nation. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).