Court defers transfer of teacher honoured by Kibaki
Published on 29/05/2011
By David Ochami
The High Court in Nairobi has extended orders barring the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) from transferring a secondary school principal to teach at a primary teacher training college by three weeks.
On Friday, Justice Daniel Musinga extended the orders he gave on May 13 to July 21 to enable the lawyer for the principal, Mohamed Harun Yusuf to respond to an affidavit filed by the TSC justifying the transfer from Garissa Secondary School to Mosoriot Teachers Training College in Nandi Country. Ironically, last December Yusuf received a Head of State Commendation for exemplary contribution to excellent academic performance in North Eastern Province and Garissa County.
Through his lawyer Evans Ondieki, the principal has gone to court to overturn what he considers to be a politically motivated transfer engineered by local PC James ole Serian. Yusuf said the transfer followed political pressure from a powerful political elite opposed to his efforts to stop land grabbing at the school.
The principal argued in an affidavit that TSC as an independent commission should not be arm-twisted.
Ondieki said the premise of the transfer was a letter by ole Serian to the TSC on April 13, this year alleging the principal was at loggerheads with a powerful minister in the province and, therefore, had to be transferred. He told Justice Musinga on May 13 that the coincidence of the transfer by TSC on April 29 this year and the letter by the PC cannot be separated.
This caused the judge to suspend the transfer until May 26 when TSC was to reply to Yusuf’s claims that the movement to Mosoriot was a demotion and not a normal transfer.
But on Friday, TSC through Nancy Macharia, its director in-charge of staffing opposed the petitioner’s claim, arguing that as an independent commission created by article 237 (1) of the Constitution, it could not have succumbed to external pressure to make the transfer.
She alleged in a sworn affidavit that the petitioner was deployed and not demoted to Mosoriot "owing to his exemplary performance and mastery" of Islamic Religious Education and history, adding that the Commission was "motivated solely by its guidelines and the need to ensure correct staff balancing."