Inside Politics

Atwoli leads Western Kenya leaders to State House

Thursday, December 1st, 2022 12:17 | By
President William Ruto shares a light moment with COTU boss Francis Atwoli at State House.
President William Ruto shares a light moment with COTU boss Francis Atwoli at State House. PHOTO/William Ruto/Twitter

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli on Thursday, December 1 led a team of Western Kenya leaders to a meeting with President William Ruto at State House.

"This morning I paid a courtesy call to H.E President William Ruto whereby we held discussions on Kenya's ratification of ILO C190 and outsourcing of labour.

"I also sought an appointment with the Head of State to meet and share with all @COTU_K Affiliated General Secretaries," Atwoli wrote on his official Twitter handle.

Atwoli was accompanied by several Luhya leaders including Cleophas Malala, Senator Boni Khalwale, and Rashid Echesa.

Also present in the meeting were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalalia Mudavadi.

The State House meeting came a day after Mudavadi made three governors from the region.

"I met a team of governors from the Western Region at my office today (Wednesday, November 30). The meeting, among others, agreed on working together on development matters. I urged the leaders from the region to be each other's keeper.

"The governors on their part, requested Treasury to expedite disbursements to counties for them to carter for pending bills.

"The meeting agreed that nonpayment is likely to wipe out entrepreneurs in the region," Mudavadi said.

Governors Fernandes Barasa of Kakamega, Kenneth Lusaka of Bungoma, and Wilberforce Kitiezo, Deputy Governor of Vihiga County attended the meeting.

The trade unionist in September accepted Ruto's win in the August 9 general election and urged the opposition to accept the presidential election outcome.

Atwoli said Ruto outwitted the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition, which he supported in the run-up to the general election.

The COTU boss hailed Ruto as a tactful politician for his victory over Azimio presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga.

"Hata nikiambia watu wazoee sauti ya Raila sikujua nitarudi hapa niwaambie wazoee ya Ruto. Unaona mambo ya Mungu? Mnapanga yenu kumbe anapanga yake," Atwoli said.

"Sisi tulienda kulala tukijua tumeshinda kumbe sisi tunafanya siasa bila ujuzi. William Ruto alikua na political skills na political smartness. He outsmarted us. We have to accept his win for the sake of having a peaceful nation where everyone co-exists," he said.

Atwoli, an ardent critic of Ruto who had ruled out any possibility of the then country's deputy president clinching the presidency, also thanked Raila for accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court on the Ruto's victory.

At the same time People Daily has reliably established the politicians, who were opposed to Mudavadi prior to the August 9 elections, were now reaching out to him seeking to recognize him as the regional kingpin.

Ahead of the August 9 election, the then ANC party boss cut an isolated figure in the region with a majority of the leaders throwing their weight behind Azimio-One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga.

Only former Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, now the National Assembly Speaker, stood with Mudavadi.

“I was not surprised when Atwoli turned up at Musalia Mudavadi Centre for a tete-a-tete. We have advised our big brother (Mudavadi) to reunite Luhyas and he has been very categorical that he was committed to this cause,” Shinyalu MP Fred Ikana said.

Ikana, who had also led a delegation to Mudavadi’s office, urged Luhyas to forget about the last elections and rally behind the ANC leader.

Fred Wesonga, a political analyst, said Mudavadi’s “pragmatism” had dumbfounded many and that his new position in the government would automatically rekindle his political fortunes.

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