Prepare to see DP Ruto lead Kenya, Atwoli told

COTU Chairman, Francis Atwoli during a press briefing at COTU offices/Enos Teche
COTU Chairman, Francis Atwoli during a press briefing at COTU offices/Enos Teche

Allies of Deputy President William Ruto yesterday told off Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli for saying the DP has usurped the roles of the President.

The lawmakers told the Star separately that the trade unionist does not understand the Constitution and is living in the past.

On Sunday after a meeting with Nasa legislators at his Kajiado home, Atwoli accused the DP of undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta and usurping his mandate.

“You want to go and preside over projects, functions of government and opening of roads as if you are the head of state... Who is leading? We don’t have two presidents. You wouldn’t be happy if you were also in the same seat,” he said.

But Belgut MP Nelson Koech and his Mumias East counterpart Benjamin Washiali questioned why Atwoli was complaining when the President or even the leadership of Jubilee Party had not. They urged Atwoli to choose between joining active politics or concentrating on his trade union job.

“Atwoli does’t not know the difference between the role of Deputy President and Vice President, as it was in the old constitution. A DP is part of the presidency. His remarks are, therefore, a clear indication he is still stuck in the old dispensation,” Washiali said.

voters to decide

He criticised Atwoli for saying Ruto will not succeed President Kenyatta. The long-serving trade unionist must prepare for a Ruto presidency, Washiali said.

“It’s not the first time Atwoli is issuing such hopeless predictions. Is he God? We know our plans in Jubilee Party. Let him go and support his preferred candidate and we all meet at the ballot. Kenyans will have the final say — not some individuals,” the National Assembly Majority chief whip said.

Ruto has declared his intention to run for President. His critics have accused him of launching early campaigns through his henchmen. He has dismissed the claims as far-fetched and insisted that he is focussed on development projects.

Recent remarks by Jubilee lawmakers Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) and Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and the resignation of JP vice chairman David Murathe sparked claims of rifts in Jubilee. Some Mt Kenya leaders pointing an accusing finger at the DP. They accused him of undercutting Uhuru.

Ruto allies defended him against allegations that he was behind the President’s woes and claims of brewing revolt in Central Kenya.

Yesterday, Washiali warned Atwoli against pretending to know who will be the next President.

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workers need help

Koech said workers face many problems and the Cotu boss should focus on fixing them. He told Atwoli to retire so young people can lead the union.

“Atwoli is tired and has run out of ideas. The same Atwoli I heard when in primary school many years ago is the one telling us who will become President and who will not — shame. Workers should stop funding this man,” he said.

“The President is not complaining He has opposed the DP in everything, but we are putting him on notice. God willing, Ruto will be President and his activities shall come to end,” Koech said.

Sirisia MP John Waluke described Atwoli as a man “bitter with the successes of the DP, thus has teamed up with other forces to block him from ascending to the top seat”.

“Kwa mapenzi ya Mungu (God willing), Atwoli and his team will witness Ruto become President. They’ve tried to brand him all sorts of names but will not succeed. The 2022 election is between the dynasties and us, ‘hustlers’. For sure, the dynasties will fall in 2022,” the Western legislator said.

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