Elections 2017

Atwoli: There will be no room for ‘begging politicians’ in 2022 polls

Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli and ODM leader Raila Odinga with other leaders during the burial of soccer legend Joe Kadenge at Gisambai Secondary School in Hamisi, Vihiga County. [Standard]

Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has hit out at elected leaders from the Western region who have decamped to support Deputy President William Ruto and blamed them for jeopardising efforts to unite the community.

To curb 'political prostitution', the Cotu boss said plans are underway to come up with a list of candidates to be voted for come 2022 General Election from the MP seat to the Presidential candidate.

Speaking during the burial of soccer legend Joe Kadenge in Vihiga, Atwoli was categorical that locals will only have one chance to think on their own on whom to vote for and that is the seat of a Ward Rep, the rest, the Atwoli list will prevail.

“For 2022 election, you will only decide on your own whom to vote for as a ward rep but for the MP we will guide you, for Senator, we will guide you, for governor we will guide you, yees!,” Atwoli shouted to mourners who had attended the burial ceremony at Gisambai Secondary School in Hamisi, Vihiga County.

He said they will soon meet with opinion shapers from the Luhya community to come up with the list and warned leaders backing Ruto that they risk being overlooked.

According to Atwoli, the list will save the community from the embarrassment and ridicule they have been subjected to by the current leaders who he said have been bought by handouts.

“It is disrespectful for our people to vote for beggars who wake up every morning to go look for handouts at other politicians' homes. These are the people who do not mean well for the community,” Atwoli said.

Adding "We don’t want to be ridiculed as the people who elect handout-seekers as leaders. We must unite if we want other people to take us seriously.”

Other leaders present at the burial called for unity among political leaders ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“If we go separate ways, we will never go far. We have to unite as a people and talk with one voice,” said Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula.

In a similar attack last month, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi also hit out at Western politicians for allowing themselves to be used as political ‘cows’.

Mudavadi said the region had become a political hotbed where everyone who wanted to become someone big in the country frequented with cheap lies and handouts to buy leaders.

“Those you have seen make several visits here have no genuine political partnerships but just coming here for cheap political acquisitions,” Mudavadi said.