Lucky to be alive: Knut boss narrates horrific crash that shook union

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Collins Oyuu is lucky to be alive.

On October 16, he was involved in a fatal crash on the Kisumu-Bondo highway while on his way to board a plane in Kisumu to Nairobi for an early morning meeting with Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

The KNUT top gun has relived the experience and the circumstances that led to the accident which when its news broke, ignited a panic mode in the giant union, among teachers, members of his family and stakeholders in the education sector.

“God did not want me to die. At least not yet, as I have a lot of work ahead of me to accomplish both in the union, education sector, family front, the society and the church,” Mr Oyuu said, speaking extensively on the matter for the first time.

The incident caused a scare in the union with two top officials – Stanley Kipkirui Mutai and George Wesonga – the First and Second National Vice chairman respectively having succumbed to cancer three months apart (May and September this year) with their positions yet to be filled.

“My two colleagues in heaven – Mutai and Wesonga – did not want me to join them. They saw it right enough that I should not go there (die), at least not yet. They interceded for me through the angels for I still have unfinished work here on earth” Mr Oyuu said.

The vehicle in which Mr Oyuu and his driver Mr Ramadhan Chapati were in overturned at Yago area near Kombewa, Seme Sub County in Kisumu at around 6:30 a.m.

The vehicle, according to eyewitnesses, rolled three times before landing in the ditch.



It literally flipped and landed on its roof, trapping Mr Oyuu and his driver in the wreckage as residents of the area and motorists rushed in to rescue them.

They were stuck in the vehicle for about 15 minutes before rescue, emerging alive from the wreckage to the shock of those who rushed to the scene. They were rushed to Aga Khan Hospital (in Kisumu city) for treatment and discharged.

The driver had attempted to avoid a head-on collision with a tractor and a motorcycle carrying school going children.

“God spared me because I was still actively working on the construction of his church back at home in Rarieda constituency. We are building a modern church building and the construction is almost at the roof level,” Mr Oyuu revealed during a meeting with 97 delegates from 25 branches who convened for a Rift Valley Regional Council meeting at Cool Rivers hotel in Nakuru City.

He said the moment was very scary, but they were saved through prayers and seatbelts they had buckled up.

“In split seconds, we were lying in the wreckage of a new car. But I am happy we saved the lives of four school going children who were on board the motorcycle we avoided a head-on collision with ( and a tractor). We would probably be talking now of five dead people,” Mr Oyuu said.

“I had an appointment with the CS (Machogu) at 9:00 a.m at his office in Nairobi, but God stopped our journey, through the accident. We were hardly doing a speed of above 100 kms per hour when the accident occurred,” Mr Oyuu revealed.

Though he was treated and discharged having been given a clean bill of health, he said that he still feels pain in various parts of the body.

“I have pains in my back, hands, knees and lower side of the belly… I know when I say the lower side of the abdomen – I know you may want to extend your imaginations a little bit further and lower than the abdomen. But I want to say all is well,” He said amidst uproarious laughter from the trade unionists.

But he sought to allay fears that he could be having health issues as a result of the accident whose news scared many before he emerged from the hospital and addressed journalists, hours after the incident.

“If you want to confirm that all is well, you can actually do that..(laughter).. And for those of you who have come to my rural home and you know how the homestead is structured (two wives in one homestead) you can actually confirm from those people (wives) at home,” Oyuu said. (more laughter from the teachers)” Mr Oyuu said.

The unionist however, does not take it for granted that he survived the accident and that many people wished him well.

“I want to thank the teachers of this country most sincerely, from all corners of the 47 counties, for their prayers and get-well wishes, which I continue to receive. I may not reach each and everyone of you individually, but I am grateful,” Mr Oyuu said.

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