Atwoli under fire for anti-Ruto comments

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli speaking during a previous interview. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto’s allies have condemned speculation by COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli on what the DP would do on losing the 2022 presidential race.

Speaking during the launch of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Mombasa yesterday, Atwoli asked Ruto's supporters to “cut down trees” in his home area of Sugoi, which observers are seeing as an allusion to suicide.

Of Atwoli’s sentiments, Ruto’s presidential campaign Director of Communications Hussein Mohammed said: "For Kenyans inflicted with violence and death including in the context of elections, this is not a laughing matter.”

The DP's camp argued Atwoli was creating crude humour from a health matter that had widely affected the country.

Additionally, the DP's camp accused the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja Movement of stirring up emotions among Kenyans to reject the outcome of the elections.

"Since the UDA Party leader William Ruto is confident of a win in the 2022 Presidential election, the usual sore losers want to take us down this path, where winning and losing becomes a life and death affair," he added.

Atwoli said President Uhuru would not retire from politics like his predecessors.

“He is not retiring like other presidents who become old after retiring…he will remain somewhere as a spokesperson. He will not disappear,” the trade unionist said.