Outspoken Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has said that he has no personal differences with Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Atwoli, who has been a harsh critic of the DP, on Monday said that he only differs with him on ideologies and policies.
“[I am] not actually in bad terms with the DP as he is also the son of Kenya. He can today welcome me to his house and vice versa and we share a meal,” said Mr Atwoli who is on record pouring cold water on Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
But the Cotu boss said that the DP is to blame for the woes he is facing in Jubilee which have seen his close allies stripped of their key parliamentary positions.
Those who have since faced the axe are Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who was removed as Senate majority leader, Meru Senator Kithure Kindiki who was last week removed as Deputy Speaker and Nakuru’s Susan Kihika who was stripped of her role as majority whip in the Senate. The purge is now said to be headed to the National Assembly.
According to Mr Atwoli, unlike other Deputy Presidents in Africa, Dr Ruto has not pledged allegiance to his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta by engaging in premature 2022 succession politics at the expense of service delivery to the people.
On the removal of the DP’s allies, Mr Atwoli said the move was long overdue but added that it should not be seen to target specific leaders.
“As a leaders from Western Kenya, we state categorically that if (Benjamin) Washiali is to be shown the door, (Aden) Duale should also go for fairness to prevail,” said Mr Atwoli.
He welcomed the ongoing coalitions and mergers of political parties ahead of 2022 elections which he noted will stabilise the country and subsequently boost the economy as the government will be all-inclusive.
Mr Atwoli, who spoke during a morning show at a local radio station, told off those who have accused him of playing politics instead of agitating for workers’ rights, especially during the current Covid-19 period where many have lost their jobs.
“You cannot remove politics from issues affecting workers. I should fight for good politics for workers to enjoy a conducive working environment,” said Mr Atwoli.
He lauded the government for spelling out an elaborate economy recover plan as announced by President Kenyatta last week.
Mr Atwoli warned those opposed to the Building Bridges Initiative to do so at their own peril saying that the amendment of the Constitution is unstoppable.
He maintained that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission should be disbanded for what he termed as violating the rights of workers.