KUPPET Lose Against KNUT On NHIF Case.
A complaint brought by a teachers union contesting the nomination of a rival group to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) board of directors has been dismissed by the High Court in Nairobi.
The ruling is a setback for the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), which had challenged the Kenya National Union of Teachers‘ (Knut) representation in the health insurance agency.
Justice Hedwig Ong’undi remarked that allowing the Kuppet lawsuit and canceling the appointment of Knut’s delegate Wycliffe Omucheyi would be futile.
The NHIF statute, according to the judge, has already been changed to exclude representation on the board from the two largest teachers’ unions.
The Omucheyi will leave NHIF on May 9, according to the judge.
According to Ong’undi, there existed a gap in the NHIF statute that allowed Knut to dupe Kuppet. She said that if Kuppet had filed its lawsuit with the High Court’s Judicial Review section, the problem would have been settled considerably sooner.
“Whatever happened to the petitioner and as a result of which the third respondent (Knut) benefitted is unfortunate. The Law itself had a lacuna and somebody somewhere took advantage of it. Had the petitioner filed a Judicial Review to question the decision-making process the matter may have been sorted out earlier,” said Justice Ong’undi.
Kuppet had asserted in the court that it had a mutual agreement with Knut that each union would choose a delegate at alternating times.
The previous term had been held by former Knut chairman Mudzo Nzili, according to the court.
Finally, in 2019, NHIF did not notify Kuppet of its intention to propose a delegate. Kuppet, on the other hand, reported that it nominated Wicks Mureithi, but Omucheyi’s name was gazetted instead.
“The petitioner protested the decision and demanded a revocation of the appointment. The same was not responded to,” Kuppet claimed.
The case was contested by NHIF, Knut, and the Attorney General. In its response, the insurance fund accused Kuppet of acting prematurely.
The union should have exhausted internal conflict resolution methods before going to court, according to NHIF.