A union has called for an investigation into what they said were mysterious deaths of teachers in Taita Taveta. Five teachers — three from secondary and two from primary schools — have died in two weeks in the county, causing panic and concern within the education sector with several others reportedly taken ill, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) is now demanding a probe to get to the bottom of the “baffling” deaths.
Senior branch officials of Kuppet, one of two unions that agitate for the welfare of teachers in the country, said the deaths had caused panic among teachers, and something needed to be done to address the problem.“Unfortunately, the teachers are dying while on duty, some in unclear circumstances. Walter Juma of Bura Girls died while talking to his wife,” said Kuppet Branch Executive Secretary Shedrack Mutungi. Among the dead are Apollo Nyaswanga (Voi Boys Secondary School), Beatrice Anyango and Juma, both of Bura Girls. Bura Girls has also lost a board member.Another teacher from Munda Secondary School lost an 11-month-old baby, said Mr Mutungi. Of particular concern to the union are the two recent deaths at Bura Girls. The official claimed that one of the school’s senior teachers is suffering from a severe back ache.
One of the teachers was in class when he fell sick, Mutungi said. He was admitted to a hospital where he died three hours later.Speaking to Saturday Standard, senior county education and Bura Girls officials likewise expressed concern but described the deaths as natural.Our inquiries showed that at least one of the teachers may have succumbed to a terminal illness.Bura Girls Principal Eunice Wambua, said: “God knows why it (the deaths) has happened and we are really depressed”.Teacher Beatrice Anyango, 29, died on January 9 while his colleague Juma, 27, died on January 14. Both teachers hailed from Siaya County.