Western is behind Azimio la Umoja, Atwoli says

COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli says entire Western Region supports Raila Odinga's presidency. [File, Standard]

Central Organization of Trade Union Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has reiterated that the western region is in full support of Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.

This comes amid heightened campaigns by Deputy President William Ruto’s UDA party across the region.

Speaking from his Kilifi home on Wednesday, January 5, Atwoli claimed that the DP was being duped by some leaders from the region, who have promised to get him votes from the region in the August election.

According to Atwoli, the New Year’s Eve Bukhungu 2 rally that he hosted was pivotal in showing who the region would support in the upcoming General Election.

“The leaders of Western Kenya were seen on December 31,” Atwoli said.

He added that the western Kenya region will vote as a block, adding that the numerous rallies the DP has held in the area would not translate to votes.

“Western Kenya will vote for candidates within Azimio la Umoja. Ruto’s foot soldiers in the region have been taking him for a ride,”

He added, “Even if he (Ruto) visited the region 20 times a week, he is not going to get any votes from there because he will not be able to convince anyone from the region to vote for him.”

On New Year’s eve, the country’s second in command hinted at a possible coalition with Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula after he said they were the only politicians in the region that he would prefer working with.

On Monday, January 3, Ruto kicked off a tour of the Western region and Rift Valley where he is expected to address about 40 rallies.

Ruto has in recent days been said to be courting one of the One Kenya Alliance co-principals and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi in a bid to form a coalition. Mudavadi denied that he had met Ruto for coalition talks, “No formal invitation has come to me yet.”

 He said that he was free to meet everybody and when he holds any meeting with anyone he will not shy from telling Kenyans about it.