Azimio says Kuria is out to create crisis in public service

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Azimio leaders have opposed Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria's proposal to convert civil servants to contractual terms describing the plan as an attempt to destroy the country’s workforce.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and DAP-K Party leader Eugene Wamalwa said that Kuria’s intention will take the country backward and will not help the government in managing its workforce but only serve to put the public service sector in an unnecessary crisis.

The Azimio principals who were speaking during a thanksgiving service organized by Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) at Saint Stephen's ACK Cathedral in Nairobi on Sunday said that the CS should instead come up with strategies to improve the civil service in the country.

“We have heard of talk of putting civil servants on contract, we are not going to accept attempts to destroy the civil service, we have heard of threats of sacking health workers that are on strike instead of addressing their grievances, which is not acceptable at all,” said Kalonzo.

The Wiper leader said that even as they appreciated Cotu for working with the government of the day it should also consider whether the administration was considerate of the welfare of workers and take necessary steps to ensure that is achieved.

Wamalwa alleged a ploy to split Cotu by some individuals out to divide workers for their selfish interest and vowed that Azimio will resist any attempt to destroy the labour movement in the country.

“We have seen some attempts to split the labour movement and also hear of plans to put civil servants on contract terms, we are telling the architects of the two schemes that what they are intending to do will not be accepted by Kenyans, they should look for something better to do,” he said.

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli declined to comment on Kuria's plans to convert civil servants on contract terms saying he will instead engage with President William Ruto who has the best interests of Kenyan workers at heart and will not allow that.

Atwoli said he was glad that Ruto embraced his proposal to work with Opposition leader Raila Odinga during last year’s Labour Day celebrations where he asked him to consider getting Raila an opportunity at the United Nations or the African Union.

The Cotu boss was optimistic that with the President and all Kenyans united behind Raila’s bid for the Africa Union Commission Chairmanship (AUC), he was certain that he will get a chance to showcase his leadership skills at an international level.

“With President William Ruto spearheading Raila’s campaign to be the Africa Union Commission Chairman and most African countries supporting his bid, I am very certain he will win and show the continent his leadership skills in that position,” said Atwoli.

He said that with Raila now headed to the AUC, the leader best suited to take over his mantle as the Opposition leader is Kalonzo.

The Wiper leader reiterated that there will be no vacuum in Azimio as Raila intensifies his campaign for the AUC Chairmanship and they are praying for his success so that he can show that Kenyans can also lead at the continental level.

Wamalwa said that Azimio will fully support the motion by Bumula MP Jack Wamboka to have Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi impeached over the fake fertiliser scandal that has affected farmers.

“The government is like a parent whose child has asked for bread and cannot be given stones, the government should take full responsibility over the fake fertiliser scandal, the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary should resign failure to which he will be impeached,” he said.

Atwoli revealed that during a post-election meeting they held with Azimio presidential candidate Raila and former President Uhuru Kenyatta he told them that they have to admit that President Ruto had a well-organised campaign strategy that propelled him to victory.

He further disclosed that he told Uhuru, Raila and Kalonzo that Cotu works with the government of the day and after that he forged a working relationship with Ruto.

The Cotu boss said he was glad the President took his advice to work with Raila which he said has lowered political temperatures in the country.

Makadara MP George Aladwa said that Azimio leaders will support Kalonzo's presidential bid in 2027 and asked him to work closely with Wamalwa to take over the country’s leadership since he has stood with Raila in the past three elections.

Aladwa asked leaders to give Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja a chance to deliver on his mandate since he has only served for 18 months and wondered why some people were blaming him even for a natural calamity such as floods.

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