Atwoli re-elected as COTU secretary general for 4th term

Atwoli re-elected as COTU secretary general for 4th term

Francis Atwoli has been re-elected unopposed as Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General for a 4th term in office.

Atwoli will now serve for a term of 5 years after COTU delegates endorsed him to lead the union again in the elections held at Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu.

He was elected to the board in 2002 having worked for several years as a member of the Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union in Kenya.

He has consistently presented himself as a vocal advocate for workers rights, frequently making animated speeches at events such as Labour Day criticizing politicians on issues such as their refusal to pay taxes on their allowances, and dabbling in corruption.

He has also been critical of non-governmental bodies and global institutions including the World Bank interfering with labour disputes.

Speaking at the delegates conference, Atwoli once again appealed to the Jubilee Government to support calls for the resignation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners over credibility concerns ahead of next year’s General Election.

Atwoli called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to dialogue with the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) to resolve issues surrounding the electoral body, including its reconstitution.

The COTU boss warned that failure to do so might lead to a disputed presidential poll next year.

Atwoli also decried increased cases of corruption being witnessed in the country, saying the government should ensure the vice is eradicated.

Atwoli’s statement comes just two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta rubbished demands by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) for national dialogue to discuss the reformation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The president stated that the constitution has clearly laid out procedure for the removal of IEBC commissioners, adding that CORD’s efforts to circumvent the process are an exercise in futility.

“CORD principals were part of the team that led us into passing the Constitution in 2010. It is perturbing now, therefore, that they want to find a way around it in the removal of IEBC commissioners,” said the president.

“The opposition has a right to demand for the removal of IEBC but they should do so within the confines of the law. It is unreasonable for them, however, to endanger the lives of their supporters in the name of championing for their rights,” he added.

CORD leader Raila Odinga has on several occasions demanded for dialogue with President Kenyatta over the pressing issues surrounding the composition of IEBC and its ability to hold free and fair elections in 2017.