Francis Atwoli: Ruto Outsmarted Us

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli has hinted at the possibility of him attending President-elect William Ruto’s swearing-in ceremony slated for Tuesday, September 13, 2022.

Speaking when he attended a funeral service in Khwisero constituency, Kakamega County on Friday, the COTU frontman intimated that the trade union will undoubtedly be represented at Ruto’s inauguration ceremony, though he remained non-committal on whether he would grace the event in person.

“Jumanne tutawakilishwa huko (swearing-in ceremony) na viongozi wa wafanyikazi kwa hivyo sisi tumekubali tutakuwa huko na tumeambia wafanyikazi wote waende huko,” said Atwoli.

Atwoli likewise elaborated on how he was forced to eat humble pie when the Supreme Court upheld president-elect Ruto’s August 9 presidential election win after Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga moved to court to challenge the results of the said contest.

In the days leading up to the elections, Atwoli, a diehard Raila supporter, was one of the most vocal critics of president-elect Ruto’s aspirations to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.

On a number of occasions, Atwoli publicly rubbished Ruto’s prospects of occupying the house on the hill, going as far as saying that the former DP’s name would not even make it on the ballot.

“Hata nikiambia watu wazoee sauti ya Raila sikujua nitarudi hapa niwaambie wazoee ya Ruto. Unaona mambo ya Mungu? Mnapanga yenu kumbe anapanga yake,” said Atwoli.

According to Atwoli, Ruto trounced Raila at the ballot because he played his political cards well, an outcome he says Raila’s camp never saw coming.

“Sisi tulienda kulala tukijua tumeshinda kumbe sisi tunafanya siasa bila ujuzi. William Ruto alikua na political skills na political smartness. He outsmarted us. We have to accept his win for the sake of having a peaceful nation where everyone co-exists,” he said.

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank Raila; alikwenda mahakama na pia hata kama hakufurahia matokeo ya mahakama alisema amekubali uamuzi,” he added. 

He correspondingly urged all Kenyans to remain peaceful and support president-elect Ruto’s administration once he takes the oath of office. 

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