Atwoli: I do not know who will be the President in 2022 but I know who will not be

COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli [Joseph Kipsang, Standard]

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli on Wednesday said he does not know Kenya’s next President but he knows who will not be.

Speaking during an interview on Citizen TV, Atwoli said Kenya has never had a chest-thumping president, tellingly adding that Deputy President William Ruto should look for good advisors.

“I do not know who will be the President in 2022 but I know who will not be… I wish the DP had good advisors and would still be supporting all of President Uhuru’s projects,” said Atwoli.

On the crowds that the DP pulls, Atwoli said they should not be used as a metric for his popularity, arguing that eventually, people listen to their leaders.

“If crowds were to make one a leader, Matiba would have been a President before he died…Don’t be deceived by the crowds.

Deputy President William Ruto addressing a crowd. [DPPS, Standard]

“At the end, people listen to their leaders,” he said.

Atwoli also dismissed the issue of leaders seeking endorsements saying they should stand out instead.

He heaped praise on ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi saying, based on his previous roles in government and positions held; he should not seek any endorsement.

“On the issue of being endorsed- Why do people want to be endorsed? A leader emerges. A leader shows the way.

“A leader is seen…If somebody endorses you, they can continue endorsing you even to your own house…Politics is mathematics, not endorsement,” he said.

Atwoli also warned against writing off ODM leader Raila Odinga’s chances of winning the 2022 election if he decides run saying he has loyal supporters who are willing to take a bullet for him.

He added that the former Prime Minister is shrewd and calculative, often thinking about his next political move.

“Do not dismiss Raila Odinga because of his age. If he decides to run for president, it will be something else as he has many supporters,”  said the trade unionist.

ODM leader Raila Odinga [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Earlier this week, Mudavadi said the fallout among leaders in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) was due to a breach of trust and hinted at new political formations ahead of the 2022 polls.

Musalia also said politics is about endorsements and he would not mind getting support from whoever he manages to convince regardless of their position.

“Let us not cheat ourselves. Politics is about endorsements. The final stamp of approval is the endorsement by the voter.

“An endorsement does not mean that one stops other candidates from vying…If I can persuade the President to support me, fine,” he remarked.

Mudavadi also responded to ODM leader Raila Odinga’s recent remarks that he will not endorse any former Nasa principal following their no-show during his mock swearing-in.

On this, the former Vice-President said the ceremony was baseless and would not receive any recognition internationally.

He added that they(Nasa) consulted widely about the whole process but it was clear that it was a breach of the constitution.