My KABARAK DILEMMA: How I was caught between Moi and Work Ethics – Justus Musyoka (KYETHO)

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By PATRICK KIMANZI

The Minister will be waiting…”, Came a call from Jogoo house.

The call that took shivers down my spine.

It was a day and time around the year 2010. As I settled at my office for the day’s work, a call came in through my
cellphone number. It was a landline number which I immediately recognised as from the Ministry of Education Headquarters.

“Send out a team of officers to Moi Primary school Kabarak immediately. Establish if it’s a private school and confirm whether there are teachers employed by the government there.

Email an advance copy by 2:00 pm and send the original by courier to reach the headquarters by 8:00 am in the morning. The Minister will be waiting; beamed my caller as he urged me to take it up urgently and importantly”.

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: I found myself caught in the middle of a supremacy battle between TSC and The Ministry.©PHOTO/PATRICK KIMANZI

I was like seriously? Wasn’t it an open secret that Kabarak was a private school and that TSC had deployed teachers to the school since it’s inception?

Establishing whether a school was private or public required land ownership documents on which the land sat. Who was going to ask MZEE for his land documents?

All the same we did the work as ordered.

I turned down a request by the Head teacher to share a copy of our report with him because it was confidential in nature.

Our report had obviously recommended that all government teachers at Kabarak be re- deployed to public schools because the school was Private.

This explaining why I was hesitant to share the report with the Head teacher.

But how far off the mark I was! Within an hour of emailing the report to Jogoo, the Head teacher called to say the report was on his table.

I knew I was now minced meat!

But if I had any doubt in my mind that somebody somewhere wanted me “Dead and burried-eight feet deep”, the confirmation was to come the following morning.

“Transfer all government teachers at Kabarak Primary School to the understaffed public schools within your district before the end of the day, scan and send copies of the transfer letters as evidence this has been done.

The Minister will be waiting…”, Came a call from Jogoo house.

Now, in public service, orders are to be obeyed as they came. So I was to transfer the teachers from a school whose proprietor was none other than the Second President of the Republic of Kenya, in the middle of the term!

There was no alternative so I proceed to do the letters.

Not knowing that the biggest shoker was still to come. And come it did, this time from TSC, the teachers employer. ” You are only an agent of TSC. You will not transfer the Kabarak teachers. TSC will do from this end..” came new orders.

I found myself caught in the middle of a supremacy battle between TSC and the Ministry. Where as there seemed to be concurrence between the two that the government teachers had to leave, the tussle now was who was to move them.

COPY CAT RUNGU?: (Right)Justus Musyoka Kyetho poses with a Moi-like rungu during his turbulent yet rewarding career as the District Education Officer Rongai where he came face to face with Moi’s raw power. (Left) The Late former President Moi poses with his famous rungu.© PATRICK KIMANZI/ WIPERPRESS

And as I was to learn later, the key issue was that MZEE wanted a soft landing for the teachers, that they be transferred to schools of their choice.

I did the transfer letters and handed them to the Head teacher as ordered by the Ministry. But needless to say, not one of the teachers moved on account of those letters.

They would wait for letters from TSC which moved them to stations of their choice, all over the Rift Valley from where they had been head-hunted.

And I survived-perhaps to tell the story.

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