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Francis Atwoli tipped for another five years as Cotu holds elections

Long serving Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary General Francis Atwoli held a flurry of meetings in Kisumu and Kakamega yesterday ahead of today’s annual general meeting expected to endorse him for another term.

With no challenger by yesterday afternoon, Mr Atwoli (Pictured) was expected to head back to office unopposed in today’s elections at the Tom Mboya Labour College.

Yesterday, the Cotu boss spent most of the day meeting local and international delegates, who started streaming into the lakeside town on Thursday evening.

“Everything is going on well. We are ready for the AGM,” an excited Atwoli, who has been at the helm of the organisation for 15 years, told The Standard on Saturday.

He had earlier met members of the Cotu Executive Board and secretary generals of the 42 trade unions that make up the worker’s union. Delegates who attended the meetings said they had resolved to re-elect Atwoli for another term.

“It is a foregone conclusion. Brother Atwoli will be elected unopposed. He will be at the helm as we work on his succession plan,” said a delegate.

Cotu Chairman Rajab Mwondi is also expected to return to office un-opposed. Sources said Mr Atwoli decided to cling onto the members of his executive.

“Mzee did not want to forsake his loyal generals, some of who could have lost the elections if left on their own,” said another senior delegate.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) officials said they will support him.

The Standard On Saturday established that Kuppet held a series of meetings in Kisumu and Kakamega towns to drum up support for Atwoli, whom they said was instrumental in addressing labour issues and advocating for the rights of workers.

“Although Atwoli initially wanted to step down, the overwhelming support across various workers unions made it impossible for him to quit active union politics,” said Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori.

Atwoli is the eight Cotu boss, having succeeded the late Joseph Joy Mugalla in 2001.

The giant trade union was founded by Tom Mboya, who was Cotu’s Secretary General for 10 years from 1953 and was succeeded by Peter Kibisu in 1963.

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