Alaar! Atwoli denies saying Ruto will never be president, explains himself
Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli categorically denied ever saying that Dr William Samoei Ruto will never be the president of Kenya.
In a sit-down interview with NTV on September 5, 2022, hours after the Supreme Court of Kenya upheld Ruto’s win, Atwoli said that he represented a pressure group known as COTU and it had opted to support Azimio La Umoja- One Kenya Alliance’s Raila Amollow Odinga as their preferred candidate.
“Just as it is in Nigeria, in the UK, trade union movements normally take positions and this time we took one too as an organization and myself as a Democrat.
We want to thank Kenyans for having kept the peace and to Raila for having resorted when we advised him that the best route, as usual, is to go to court…and on the 17th after William was declared the winner, we convened our COTU executive board and we said since Raila has moved to court, immediately after the verdict, we will be in a position to congratulate the victor in this exercise. We already congratulated Ruto as an organization,” Atwoli began.
When pushed further regarding his anti-Ruto slogans during the campaign period ahead of the August 9 General Election, Atwoli stated that Ruto was an articulate politician but he did not say Ruto will never be the president of Kenya.
He explianed, “…that is what I was saying, but as I had envisaged that he can become a president, the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya, I did not say he can’t become a president.
He is a president and I’m urging all Kenyans of goodwill to rally behind him, allow him to form his government, and support him.
Also read: President-elect Ruto lauded by the US
Let’s give him time to see whether he can reorganize our economy,” added Atwoli.
Asked whether he would take back all the anti-Ruto statements he made on the campaign trail, Atwoli referenced a globally recognized United Nations law that allows a person to say anything under the sun and to join any persuasion of their choice.
“…this is a democratic society and everyone has a right to take any position and to say anything under the sun per the new constitution, or to join any persuasion of his or her own choice.
This is what democracy was all about and I know Ruto will be able to understand this position as this cannot be held against any person. We were in electioneering and a winner is a winner and a winner must be accepted,” added Atwoli.
He also reminded Kenyans that Ruto had promised to not reflect on what was said about him on the campaign trail when asked about his infamous ‘kateni miti Sugoi’ phrase.