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THE TEACHERS STRIKE IN KENYA AND THE CONSTITUTION: WHO’S RIGHT ABOUT RIGHTS?

Two parents, Valerie Namtilu Wafula and Susan Wangari, have filed a legal action in Milimani Law Courts arguing that the teachers’ strike ‘will cause irreparable damage’ to students. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says the strike is legal under section 41 of the new Constitution.

So, what does the new Constitution have to say on the matter?

Labour Relations

41. (2) Every worker has the right…

(d) to go on strike.

BUT…

Economic and Social Rights

43. (1) Every person has the right…

(f) to education

AND…

Children

53 (1) Every child has the right…

(b) to free and compulsory basic education;

53 (2) A child’s best interest are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.

BUT THEN AGAIN…

Enforcement of Bill of Rights

22 (1) Every person has the right to institute court proceedings claiming that a right of fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights has been denied, violated or infringed, or is threatened.

The Kenya Forum is and has been very supportive of the Kenya’s new Constitution  and will continue to be so but there is no doubt that sections of it were written as a manifesto, or wish list of rights. Which has primacy? The right to strike, the right to education or the rights of the child?

Discuss!

Related Kenya Forum article posted this morning:

‘KENYAN TEACHERS GO ON STRIKE: BASIC RIGHTS OR “BLACKMAIL”?’

President Kenyatta declared winner.

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