President Uhuru Kenyatta Sunday night reiterated his government’s stand that teachers should call off their countrywide strike and resume work.
Uhuru insisted the government has no money currently to implement the 50-60 percent salary increments recently awarded to teachers through a court order.
In his first address to the nation delivered live from Statehouse, Nairobi since teachers’ strike began four weeks ago, the President said the national economy is currently unable to afford to pay any salary increment for both teachers and civil servants.
He added that it would be unfair and inappropriate for government to divert money allocated for developments or embark on borrowing money just to pay salaries.
The President therefore appealed to teachers to reconsider their stand on strike and go back to class.
“I urge teachers as parents , as public servants and as Kenyans to reconsider the matter and resume duties” President said in appealing tone.
Uhuru however reiterated his government’s stand that this year’s national examinations will go on as planned and asked candidates sitting for the exams to continue with learning in schools.
The President’s speech comes few days after the Ministry of Education ordered all schools both public and privates to be closed after teachers countrywide defied orders to resume duty.
Teachers through their unions’ KNUT and KUPPET however dismissed the President claiming that he has been mislead.
The Unions leaders insisted that teachers will never to return to classes until Government heeds to their demand for implementation of the court awarded salary increments.
“If they say they won’t pay, cannot pay then we teachers also tell that we won’t teach and can’t teach unless they pay us our new salaries” says KNUT National Chairman Mudzo Nzili
Meanwhile, High court in Nairobi is expected Tuesday to rule on TSC’s appeal case against order directing them to implement the teachers pay rise.