BUNGOMA. The county government of Bungoma has assured its support to local financing institutions and microfinance groups in the area as one way of enabling them to grow into bigger institutions to compete with the already existing national and international institutions.
Speaking during a delegates meeting of the Ng’arisha savings and credit cooperative society held at a hotel in Chwele, the county executive committee member of education at the county Mrs Berryl Mutekhele said that Ng’arisha Sacco is the only Sacco that has demonstrated that it has the potential to grow into a big financial institution.
“I want to tell you that you are the only Sacco that we are looking up to as a county government and that is why we really value you when you have such functions,” said the CEC.
Mutekhele who was speaking on behalf of governor Ken Lusaka who could not make it to the function added that the county was eager to see the Sacco rise to the potential of lending money to the devolved unit.
She said that the governor respects and appreciates the Sacco and looks upon it to transform the County as far as financial matters are concerned.
The CEC noted that by supporting the Sacco the county government was meeting one of its core functions of devolution to build local capacity in all aspects.
“I just want to assure you members, that we are on the move and that we shall walk with you and as a ministry of education I want to assure you that anything touching on teachers is our priority,” added the CEC.
She pointed out that the county government had seconded the 2000 Early Childhood Development – ECD teachers that were employed to the Sacco by promoting the institution and also letting the teachers enjoy the privileges of being members of such a Sacco.
She further revealed that another bunch of instructors of youth polytechnics that were recently employed by the county government on permanent and pensionable terms have also been seconded to Ng’arisha Sacco and promised that any other group of employees that the county government shall employ will always be preferred to Ng’arisha Sacco.
At the same time, Mutekhele revealed that the devolved government has earmarked 1500 ECD teachers out of 2000 that it employed to be put on permanent and pensionable terms by July 2017 in its plan that will work in phases to ensure all the teachers of ECD to permanent terms.
She noted that the ECD teachers shall have their scheme of service in place soon after harmonizing it with other counties after a conference in Mombasa that shall be held soon.
At the same time, the CEC pleaded to the teachers to spearhead the re-election of governor Ken Lusaka back to office in the August general elections to enable him complete and initiate more development projects.
Public service chief officer at the county David Kibiti who also attended the ceremony also confirmed his support to the Sacco as a member and a former teacher.
Kenya national union of teachers – KNUT officials from the larger Bungoma county who attended the ceremony led by the executive secretary of the county Ken Nganga also confirmed their full support of the Sacco and urged it to expand its horizons to increase its membership and grow into a bigger financial institution.
Ng’arisha Sacco officials led by the chairman Benedict Simiyu and chief executive officer Macleans Wamukota appreciated the support that the Sacco has so far received from the county government and other stakeholders that have good intentions and good will to see it grow big.
Wamukota said that the Sacco has over 12,000 members who are majorly teachers and it still strives to recruit more members from within the county and other neighbouring counties.
KNUT issued a strike notice to government
At the same time the KNUT officials used the opportunity to issue a strike notice to the national government noting that they are set to paralyze learning activities in the country if at all their allowances and salary that were noted in the collective bargaining agreement that they signed with the government shall not be noted in this year’s national budget.
Ken Nganga appreciated that the union had noted with keen interest the huge amount of money that has been allocated to the Teachers Service Commission – TSC and therefore hoped that the commission shall allocate part of the money to the teachers as per the CBA or else the teachers will not go back to school come second term.
“We have seen through the media and other social media that the government has allocated a lot of money to the TSC in this year’s budget that shall be read soon and we are cautioning the commission that even if they have been allocated the lion’s share of the budget yet the money for the CBA and promotions is not captured then it should be prepared not to see teachers in school by second term,” said Nganga.
He added that by July if the money does not reflect on the payslips of teachers then the teachers will put in place measures to create a voter apathy in the country in the run to the general elections to ensure that the leaders in government are not voted back into office for failing to fulfil the promises given to teachers.
“We also want to tell the government that teachers will not open schools in second term and we as teachers we shall ensure that there is a voter apathy in the country so that those moving around seeking votes are not elected for failing to deliver to the electorate what they promise and we shall push this government to the very end to ensure we get what is rightfully ours,” added Nganga.