State bans teachers, civil servants from politics

civil servants

The government has restricted civil servants from taking part in any form of political activities in the latest move to curtail civil servants from political involvement.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in a circular by chief executive Twalib Mbarak notes that public officers should not engage in any political activity.

This is because, Twalib notes in the circular, it may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of their office, subject to any laws relating to an election.

“The above restrictions are further emphasized under the Political Parties Act, 2011. Section 12 of the Act provides that a Public Officer shall not be eligible to hold office in a political party,” the statement reads.

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A parallel circular by the Teachers Service Commission reads from the same script; the statement by the CEO Nancy Macharia, notes those employed under the commission should refrain from holding office in a political party.

This will affect employees at the TSC offices and registered teachers.

Macharia notes that such political engagement may compromise the political neutrality of the office they hold.

It further bars them from publicly indicate support for or against any political party or candidates in an election.

So too, they will be required to refrain from engaging in activities of any political party or candidate or act as an agent of a political party or candidate in an election.

“In concurrence with the spirit of national values and good governance … it is vital for all employees of the commission to adhere to strict observance of the law in respect hereof by abstaining from taking part in political engagement,” the statement reads.

However, Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary general Wilson Sossion on Tuesday came out to oppose the move by TSC.

Sossion rubbishes the circular as “unfortunate, unfair and in bad faith for TSC to curtail teachers democratic freedoms as contained in the constitution of Kenya,”

The circular, Sossion says, is uncalled for, frightening and is unjust for TSC to threaten teachers exercising their democratic right.

Sossion alleges that the commission is acting with double standards as the TSC Chief executive and outgoing chair Lydiah Nzomo openly led a campaign for the Jubilee Party in the 2017 election.

Sossion further says that the circular will block the involvement of teachers in the constitutional review process under the BBI initiative.

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