Outspoken COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has now made a dramatic U-Turn from his formerly spirited support of embattled Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru.
Upon Waiguru.s impeachment, the COTU Secretary General had declared that he would lead efforts to save the ousted governor and even intimated that she should be spared impeachment at the Senate for the sake of the BBI process.
Governor Waiguru had been among the frontliners of the BBI campaign team and was touted as the defacto face of the Mount Kenya region in the BBI team but all came to an abrupt end with her dramatic impeachment and subsequent demonstrations against her.
While explaining his change of heart, Hon Atwoli explained that the former Kirinyaga governor represents everything that the BBI intends to cure in Kenya.
“I was honest when I said that we should save Waiguru for the sake of BBI campaigns which you all know I am passionate about and of course being that her impeachment was good news to anti-BBI forces, but after deep soul searching, I have come to accept that we cannot save someone with numerous scandals like Waiguru,” Atwoli explained.
The trade unionist further opined that some of the BBI document is founded on the need to have a corruption-free Kenya that does not allow unscrupulous cartels to thrive at the expense of common wananchi.
“BBI is about healing the nation and doing away with corruption so it is quite unfortunate for my friend Ann that she wants to hide under BBI for protection, it is simply impossible,” added Atwoli.
Atwoli has been under fire from trade unionists who complained that he had dedicated too much of his time to engaging in divisive politics at the expense of driving workers’ agenda but he had defended himself saying that the BBI push is a national agenda that would also benefit workers. He now seems to have taken cue and is distancing himself from the Waiguru impeachment debate that is coming up in the Senate for determination.
In an extended interview, the COTU boss hinted his fear that open support for irredeemably corrupt individulas like Waiguru would likely affect his close friendship with the President, given the now uncompromising stand on corruption that the President has taken.
He was quoted, “I have now known for a fact that there are no sacred cows in the President’s war on corruption. Be it Ruto, be it Waiguru, anyone who is corrupt will be swept aside and I don’t want to be seen as the one defending corruption in Kenya against the President’s wish.
The impeachment of the Kirinyaga county boss has been met with supporting demonstrations in various parts of Kirinyaga that point to a county totally fed up with her and opens the possibility of another impeachment in the unlikely event that the Senate votes to save her.
Could Atwoli have seen the strong anti-Waiguru and anti-corruption forces determined to free Kenya off corruption?
In another surprise move, the COTU boss has urged Jubilee Party leaders Raphael Tuju, David Murathe and nominated MP Maina Kamanda to stop piling pressure on Senators to save the highly unpopular governor in Kenya, adding that even handshake co-partner Raila Odinga had decided to let Waiguru answer to the Senate.
“Waititu was also a Jubilee member but when his own county rejected him, the Senate had no choice but to send him home and even baba has taken a backseat so Tuju should let her face her fate,” the trade unionist concluded.