Francis Atwoli: William Ruto will one day be president but...

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli reacts to DP William Ruto's remarks when in the USA during his continuous tours abroad. [ Jenipher Wachie, Standard] 

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has expressed optimism that Deputy President William Ruto will lead Kenyans as President in future but only if he respects his political predecessors.

Atwoli, who has been an ardent critic of Ruto, and who, at one time, even claimed he (Ruto) would not be on the ballot, hailed the DP for being a good leader and shrewd politician, noting that should he follow his advice he would become Kenya’s next president in 2027.

“If Ruto was to come to me for advice, I would guide him and I guarantee you he would become president. He is a very shrewd politician and a good leader. What he is lacking are good advisors. He also needs to stop with the chest-thumping,” said Atwoli told NTV in an interview.

He went ahead to claim that it was already too late for Ruto to be the next President, urging him to start stacking his chips for the 2027 elections.

“He will become a President after Raila but if he still calls me Mzee wa Manyororo, he will still languish in his problems… I am convinced that this year, Ruto will not be president. If he is not careful, Raila will in 2027 hand over power to the first lady president, Martha Karua,” he added.

After Ruto was given the nod to contest in the presidential race by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ruto he hit, saying that despite an attempt by “the deep state” to bar him from contesting, the will of God had been done.

But in a rejoinder, Atwoli explained himself.

“I made the remarks during fundraising in Lamu. What I meant was that the Kenyan government was part of global governments on the issue of integrity. If the alleged issues of integrity that surround William Ruto were clearly followed, he probably would not have been on the ballot. There is a court case revolving around his Weston Hotel which allegedly sits on government land and to that effect he is entangled in integrity issues,” stated Atwoli.

 He clarified, “I did not mean that William Ruto will not be on the ballot because he would have died. I meant that if he would have been closely followed on integrity issues then he would not have been on the ballot box.”

Atwoli went on to blame state agencies for doing a “shoddy job” by clearing Ruto to contest. He also refuted claims that he is President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila’s mouthpiece g.

“In 2014, one year after Uhuru and Ruto were sworn in I declared that Ruto would not ascend to presidency given my past experience with him. I however did not know who would be on the ballot in 2022 and I, therefore, cannot be said to be speaking on anyone’s behalf,” he stated.