Francis Atwoli road signage drama
An apple does not fall far from the tree, so goes the adage, but in Francis Atwoli’s case, the apples won’t just behave.
A signage of a road named after the veteran trade unionist cannot follow in the footsteps of its owner, who’s been the Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu) Secretary-General for God’s knows how long.
Nairobi residents woke up Tuesday morning to loads of images of Francis Atwoli Road, a road named after the firebrand trade unionist in Kileleshwa, Nairobi, up in flames.
What an irony, fire consumed a tribute to the fiery Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) SG, a case of fighting fire with fire.
Mr Atwoli is probably still consumed in celebrations after being re-elected for the fourth time as the Vice President of the International Labour Organisations (ILO) yesterday.
This is now the umpteenth time the signage is being vandalised by unknown individuals since City Hall renamed Dik Dik Road after the trade unionist last month.
Dik Dik is an extremely small animal, in the family of antelopes, believed to be the most faithful animal to ever grace the world.
The renaming of the road has divided opinions among Kenyans with some supporting the move and others in opposition.
The road signage was brought down just a day after it was erected by the Nairobi County Government.
However, it would be re-erected by the deputy-governor Ann Kananu-led administration two days later.
But after its restoration, more outrage would greet the new development with activist-cum politician Boniface Mwangi vowing to personally remove the signage.
“I came from the womb of a brave woman. If that sign is still up when l come back home (from an overseas trip), l shall personally remove it. @AtwoliDza you have violated chapter 6 of the constitution on integrity. Installing a camera to guard a road sign is a waste of our taxes to please your fat ego.”
This is after Mwangi, who unsuccessfully contested for the Starehe parliamentary seat in the 2017 general elections, asked residents of Dik Dik Gardens to remove the road signage.
Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo joined the fray questioning why the Cotu boss was so keen to have the road sign in place.
“Why fight so hard to have it there. If they remove, let it be and move on,” he said.
City Hall has faced intense criticism for renaming the road without following the due process.
However, Kananu defended the move saying the gesture is in recognition of Mr Atwoli’s selfless contribution and agitation for the rights of the Kenyan workers in the last 54 years.