Inside Politics

‘I convinced Wamalwa to join Azimio, left him there’ – Atwoli

Sunday, April 28th, 2024 15:04 | By
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli. PHOTO/Francis Atwoli (@AtwoliDza)/X

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has opened up on how he convinced Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa to join the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party.

Speaking on Sunday, April 28, 2024, Atwoli says he decamped from Azimio and decided to support President William Ruto's government after the Azimio coalition lost elections.

"Maybe I am the one who wronged you (Eugene). You were a close ally of William Samoei Ruto. Being an elder of the Western region, I called you and told you that you must join our group (Azimio). You heard me and joined Azimio, but I left you there," Atwoli said.

"When Azimio lost (the elections), in a meeting co-chaired by Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, I said one word and left. I have never gone back to such a meeting because we as workers work with the government of the day. I called a meeting for workers' leaders and we agreed that we tried but lost...William Samoei Ruto was smarter than us."

Atwoli's word to Uhuru

Atwoli says before leaving, he informed Raila and Uhuru that the political atmosphere had made it harder for him to remain in the opposition.

"In our last meeting, I told Uhuru and Raila it has become harder. Raila had tried for long. I told Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka to take over opposition leadership and I left. I have not returned to such a meeting (with opposition)," Atwoli added.

Atwoli says he asked President William Ruto to find a job for Azimio leader Raila Odinga so that the country could move in one direction.

"I asked President William Ruto, as a country, if we were to move towards one direction, look for your friends, your closest friend Raila Odinga. Get him a job even in the UN, African Union or anywhere. Little did I know it sunk in all of them. Right now we are campaigning for my in-law Raila Odinga to clinch the African Union Commission chairmanship," he added.

Raila declared his candidacy for the position on February 15, 2024, as he seeks to replace the incumbent, Moussa Faki.

Apart from Raila, other candidates who have joined the race include Djibouti Foreign Affairs Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf and Somalia's former Foreign Affairs Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam.

The campaign to replace the current AUC chair Moussa Faki is set to officially begin once all interested candidates submit their applications by May this year.

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