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No, the Teachers Service Commission – Kenya’s largest public employer – hasn’t appointed a new boss

IN SHORT: The leadership of the Teachers Service Commission, one of Kenya’s 10 constitutional commissions, is keenly watched. A claim that the agency has a new chief is false.

As the largest employer in Kenya’s public service, developments at the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are closely followed.

In 2021 the TSC employed nearly 350,000 people, nearly all of them teachers.

A post on Facebook claims that the TSC has promoted finance director Cheptumo Ayabei to chief executive officer. The claim can also be seen here, here and here.

The commission has recently been in the news for its controversial policy – known as “delocalisation” – to move teachers from their communities. 

The TSC is one of the 10 commissions and independent offices established by Kenya’s 2010 constitution. Others are the human rights commission, the land commission and the electoral commission.

But has the TSC really given Ayabei one of Kenya’s most powerful public service positions? 

Ayabei_False

There’s no CEO position at TSC – and current head remains in office

No. The commission’s website shows that Ayabei remains director of finance. And the TSC doesn’t have a CEO. Instead, it’s headed by a commission secretary, currently Nancy Macharia.

Macharia has held the position since 2015. In July 2020 her tenure was renewed for a second term of five years.    

According to the law, the commission secretary can only be removed on specific grounds. These include physical or mental incapacity, gross misconduct, incompetence and violation of the constitution.

More than this, the public scrutiny of the TSC makes it almost impossible that a change at the top would have gone unreported in the media.  

And the TSC has taken to Twitter and Facebook to debunk the rumour of change in its leadership, posting a screenshot of the claim with “FAKE” stamped across it.

“Beware of fake news,” it tweeted. “Usidanganywe.” That’s Kiswahili for “don’t be fooled”. 

“For accurate information please reach us on our website and social media channels."

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