In June 2014, William Langat was fired, he was immediately replaced by Elizabeth Gicheha as the Registrar of Trade Unions.
Elizabeth, the lady was coming in to fit into the wider scheme of appointing people from one region of Kenya, central Kenya, into ‘strategic offices’ in the land so as to drive a certain agenda.
The first major order that Elizabeth Gicheha did was to reinstate the slain Kabete MP George Muchai who had been ‘fired’ as the Deputy Secretary-General at the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU), which has been under Francis Atwoli for eons.
It was in October 2014, when Gicheha ruled against the removal of Muchai.
Five months later, having crashed the Kikuyu coup at COTU, the life of MP was ended in the most gruesome manner in the middle of the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD). Kenyans woke up to the death-by-gunshots of the fast-rising MP George Muchai.
Since 2015 to 2020, there are many moves that the Registrar has done that warrant more scrutiny as they aren’t innocent moves.
One particular union, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has suffered from the indecisiveness of the Registrar.
Ms Gicheha pocketed a lot of cash in bribes from the officials on both sides of the KNUT wrangles.
She at some point had signed, according to deleted Citizen TV article, the removal of Wilson Sossion, the KNUT Secretary-General (SG).
The SG who is also a nominated MP under the ODM Party was reinstated later by a court thus forcing Ms Gicheha to play ball.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Hellen Wasilwa has reinstated Wilson Sossion and the Registrar had to follow suit by issuing another letter reinstating Sossion.
Mr Sossion remains the secretary-general to date, pending hearing and determination of the case.
Another curious case of a Kikuyu take-over had been quashed, but this time, it was not a Kikuyu to benefit, it was a Luo, a Mr Hesbon Otieno. Maybe that’s why the plan failed.
At the TSC, there’s a Dr Nancy Macharia, who has destroyed the teacher movement in her five years at the helm.
Nancy, who was appointed on June 25th 2015, has created confusion in the former strong teacher’s movements. She sowed the seed of discord between Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and KNUT.
In the ensuing division, the Kikuyu-elite have sought to destroy the stringer and more formidable one, KNUT. And with people like Elizabeth Gicheha on top, the game is done. COTU is asleep and will play ball.
The third curious case is that of the little-known but important Banking Insurance and Finance Union of Kenya (BIFU), which is headed by Isaiah Kubai, a person from Central Kenya.
Now, BIFU, which represent financial industry workers in Kenya ranging from bankers, SACCOs, KRA, Insurance firms etc, has been without proper leadership for over 30 years.
Founded officially in 1986, BIFU has not represented the plight of financial industry workers, it’s been captured. The capture is being protected by Elizabeth Gicheha and for a very good sum of money, i.e. Sh2 million per month.
The high cost of maintaining immunity is because in the 33 years of its existence, BIFU doesn’t have assets, i.e. branch offices, for the better part of the 33 years, at least 15 years, it’s been collecting over Sh5 million a month from workers.
Currently, that figure is said to be in the region of Sh10 million per month.
The registrar in a recent case has awarded the office of the SG to Isaiah Kubai even after 2016 elections removed him.
As KenyanBulletin.com learnt, the Registrar, Ms Gicheha ruled that the Union has physical offices. A claim that is not supported by visits on the ground.
“Elizabeth Gicheha claims that she inspected BIFU branch in Mombasa, whilst no physical branch exists”, records available online state.
The Registrar also wrongly rules that the Union accounts are in order, despite glaring forgeries and use of a non-existent accountant to audit the accounts.
“This Auditor purportedly audited BIFU accounts for the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 yet he was not licensed since 2014. Interestingly for each year he charged a constant audit fees of Sh20,000 when BIFU’s annual income was at Sh85million There are neither auditor opinion page nor practice number on the carelessly falsified Audited Accounts”, stated an online source.
The source went on to question why “with an income of Sh78million and a total of 14 employees majority earning less than Sh30K but salaries at over 40M. Kubai’s gratuity and maybe Registrar’s cuts included in the salaries. BIFU has filed fraudulent accounts 5 years straight, but Elizabeth Gicheha, who receives annual returns from Trade Unions, endorses this theft happily”.
There’s no other Union that has exposed the Registrar as the BIFU one.
Furthermore, noticing that their forgeries had been discovered, Registrar of Trade Unions is said to have allowed Kubai not to file Audited Accounts for both 2018 and 2019 despite the deadline of 1st April.
Kubai is still in office because of protection from the Registrar. These are glaring corruption which Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) should look into.
The investigations by EACC and maybe DCI should also head to the banks, it is said that Kubai colludes with bank mangers to frustrate employees who are deemed rogue by virtue fo asking for their rights to be respected.
KCB Bank, National Bank of Kenya, Stanbic Bank have been mentioned in this.
BIFU collects about 10 Million per month, 120 Million per year. So we are speaking of 600 Million stolen from workers, as Elizabeth Gicheha cheered on. The Labour Act dictates that any worker can join a Union of his / her choice. Isaiah Kubai routinely expels members from BIFU.
In 2019, a case that went through the Commission on Administrative Justice, Office of the Ombudsman had ordered the BIFU SG Kuabi to release (i) audited books of accounts (ii) the Register of Members for both National and Branches (iii) the list of Branch Officials. (iv) Minutes of the Annual Delegates Conference for the last five (5) years and notices convening those conferences. (v) the details of the physical branch offices.
The three, Gabriel Okomo, Duncan Muthusi and Alphonce Were won the case, but Kubai supplied them with forged documents/
Kubai is said to use the money collected from workers to bribe himself around, he also accepts bribes from banks, he hires and fires at will. Sometimes, he hires people who are not workers in the financial industry as workers at BIFU where he maintains them with meagre salaries.
He colludes with banks to fire staff so he doesn’t represent them in court.
He abandons, in court, those workers (financial industry) who are in trouble.
His is he law, he listens to no one. Fights for Sh100k bribe with his treasurer.
The worker in the financial industry has no one to take care of them, they are mistreated, where the lowest takes home sh10,000 per month as the highest swims in cash to the excess of sh25 million per month.
Al, these corruption lies squarely on the Registrar of Trade Unions who has been exposed as a partisan and triabl public official.
If it were KNUT, Elizabeth Gicheha wouldn’t have hesitated to remove Sossion of he was a quarter as quilty of what her tribemate Isaiah Kubai has done at BIFU.