Hii ni matanga yangu! Drama as Atwoli, Osotsi tussle over microphone at funeral
Political tensions escalated at a funeral service of Rajab Mwondi in Vihiga on September 2, 2023, when Central Organisation of Trade Union (COTU) secretary Francis Atwoli clashed with Senator Godfrey Osotsi over who should speak at the event.
Trouble started when Osotsi, a strong ally of opposition leader Raila Odinga, launched a verbal attack on leaders affiliated with President William Ruto.
Osotsi, who appeared to be in an aggressive mood, then directed his verbal attack at Atwoli, who was present.
As he was about to complete his address, Osotsi invited another politician who was present to address the mourners.
This appeared to rub Atwoli the wrong way.
He woke up and walked towards Osotsi before grabbing the microphone.
“This is my funeral. This is COTU’s funeral. I am the one who will invite those who will speak here,” he warned.
Osotsi initially appeared to struggle to gain control of the microphone before letting it go while murmuring some words.
Mr Odinga, former Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, and former Defence Minister Eugene Wamalwa were among those present as the drama unfolded.
When he stood to speak, Mr Odinga blasted Atwoli for ‘going to bed with President William Ruto’.
“You are a trade unionist and is the one supposed to be taking care of the plight of workers,” said Mr Odinga.
“Now you are following the President everywhere and praising him instead of sitting down with him to tell him to address the high cost of living. You should be the one leading demonstrations to put pressure on the government to bring down the cost of food, electricity, and school fees.”
Atwoli retaliated by suggesting to Mr Odinga that he fairly lost to President Ruto in the 2022 presidential elections.
Without considering the bereaved family who require condolences and prayers, Kenyan politicians have transformed funerals into a background for political speeches and supremacy contests.