Inside Politics

Ruto doesn’t deserve votes from Western region since he called me stupid – Atwoli

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022 16:35 | By
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Francis Atwoli. PHOTO/COURTESY

Deputy President William Ruto, on Monday, caused a stir after he referred to Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli as "stupid".

Speaking in the UK where he is currently on a three-day tour, DP Ruto claimed that Atwoli acted "foolishly" by going to court to stop an amendment on the NHIF Bill which would have seen Kenyans with higher income contribute more money to the health insurance scheme.

"When we came into office, we had 3.8 million people contributing to NHIF and everybody was contributing about Ksh320. So we decided to adjust the amount so that the people who earn more like the deputy president can pay Ksh5000 and then the other people can graduate like that.

So we changed the regulation but we were taken to court by a stupid man called Atwoli. I have no regret to say he is a stupid man. He is a very foolish person because he is supposed to be representing the lower people. What business does he have defending deputy president who needs to pay Ksh5000," Ruto said.

While defending his move, Atwoli said he stopped the proposals in the NHIF contribution because he felt that the scheme was going to be used as a jackpot for the corrupt leaders to steal money.

The trade unionist claimed that the DP was among the political leaders who wanted to swindle the funds within the NHIF scheme.

He further claims that Ruto's referral to him as a stupid person was out of bitterness that he stopped him from "stealing from the scheme" the NSSF, a retirement scheme that he was previously a member of.

"In Homa Bay, for instance, every board member of the NHIF was being promised anything. Since I don't seat on the board there, the NHIF is empty and who emptied its account? It is William Ruto," Atwoli claimed.

"The anger DP Ruto has with me is because I stopped him from stealing from NSSF," he added.

The firebrand trade unionist further claimed that Ruto's move to insult him could cost him votes from Western Kenya. He claimed that Ruto abused the whole Western region when he insulted him hence the region will repay by not voting for him in the August elections.

"When Ruto is telling the world that Atwoli is the most stupid person, he is not abusing me. He is implying to the people from my community are stupid. Can my people produce a stupid person like me? Maybe he does need their votes to become president," he claimed.

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