Atwoli reveals untold story behind Mudavadi’s position as Luhya spokesperson
Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli says Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi is still the spokesperson of the Luhya community despite his recent move to join Deputy President William Ruto's side.
Speaking during a TV interview with KTN News, Atwoli said that Mudavadi became the Western political kingpin because of his (Atwoli) own efforts. He claimed that he gave the ANC boss the mandate to speak on behalf of the community out of a request he got from the late Prof George Eshiwani.
The trade unionist claimed that Eshiwani asked him on his death bed to help Mudavadi in his political path. He noted that it is the request that pushed him to empower Mudavadi.
"I was behind him because when the late Prof George Eshiwani was almost dying, he told me, 'Francis don't let Musalia go alone, try to assist him.' So I was fulfilling the request that was given to me by Eshawali by assisting Musalia to become a Luhya spokesperson," Atwoli said.
Atwoli claimed that he is the one who funded Mudavadi's swearing-in as Luhya spokesperson in 2016 as well as campaigning for some of the ANC's Members of Parliament.
"I used more than Ksh200 million, the money I have worked for, to make him a Luhya spokesperson during the Bukungu I Declaration on December 31, 2016," he claimed.
Atwoli further noted that though Musalia is still the spokesperson of the Luhya community, he has never organised any public rally in the region. According to Atwoli, Musalia's failure to hold a public rally in his political backyard has made him lose its support.
He also said that Mudavadi's move to join DP Ruto ahead of the next election has not affected the number of votes ODM leader Raila Odinga will get from the region. He argued that Raila still has influence and connection with the region.
"Raila is a man who can enter Western Kenya without anybody's permission. He has friends in Western Kenya so it is Mudavadi or Wetangula who can benefit from Raila and not the other way around," he asserted.