Trade unionist Francis Atwoli has fired back at Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi following criticism on his leadership at the helm of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU).
Addressing members of the press on Monday, Atwoli took issue with Mudavadi’s remarks that he is incompetent.
Mudavadi had on Sunday questioned the COTU Secretary General’s source of wealth, further linking him to graft. The ANC boss claimed Atwoli had done little to champion the plight of Kenyan workers.
“[COTU] is dominated by a few people who properly boast and display their trappings of massive opulence,” he said.
Mudavadi was speaking at Bomas during ANC’s National Delegates Convention (NDC) attended by new ally Deputy President William Ruto.
But in his response, Atwoli said it’s Mudavadi who contributed to the current ‘oppressive’ laws by allowing employers to execute redundancy without consulting unions.
“How does Mudavadi talk about protecting Kenyan workers yet whilst serving as Finance Minister in 1994 he sneaked into the Finance Act of 1994 the redundancy clause? Because of this clause, many Kenyan workers have suffered considering it makes it possible for employers to declare redundancy without consulting workers,” said Atwoli.
“…Much disturbing is the fact that Mudavadi is so naive that he doesn’t seem to understand how the labour movement in Kenya works and that the Secretary-General of COTU (K) is not the Minister in charge of Labour nor Treasury to blame me for the performance of the Labour sector and the economy.”
Atwoli went on to criticize Mudavadi’s promise to revive the country’s economy. He said the ANC leader doesn’t have a plan that would enable him deliver his pledge.
“Kenyan workers listening to Mudavadi, yesterday, waited in earnest to hear solutions to the problems facing Kenyans only to hear a speech devoid of any serious agenda but vitriol,” he said.
On Mudavadi teaming up with Ruto ahead of the August General Election, Atwoli dismissed the ANC leader’s political move as inconsequential.
He accused Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula of betraying the Luhya community and using their parties for selfish gain.
While drumming up support for ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid, Atwoli claimed Ruto funded the ANC event with a Ksh27 million donation.
“Between Mudavadi and Raila who can Kenyans trust more? This is a no-brainer considering Wetangula. Mudavadi and Ruto can’t be trusted with anything if their account in public office is anything to go by,” he said.
“I must remind Kenyans that early last year I said that ANC party and FORD (K) party were confusing the Luhyas politically and that if they meant well these two misleaders should have folded these “parties” into one party to chart one path forward for the region. But I have since been vindicated considering it is now in the public knowledge that ANC and FORD (K) are political commercial Kiosks for Mudavadi and Wetangula, respectively.”
He also claimed the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader gave Mudavadi Ksh300 million to build his Karen home.
“If these two parties are not Political Commercial Kiosks. Mudavadi should come out and refute the rumor that Ruto gave him 300 million shillings to build his Karen home,” he added.
“As Francis Atwoli, I can account for everything that I have considering everything that I own is out of my hard-earned allowances and wages. Where does Musalia, who is not employed, not an industrialist nor with a known business, get his money other than engaging in political conman ship using his Kiosk? ANC party.”
Mudavadi's attack on the Labour Movement is a show of his insecurities. It has no effect on the Labour movement. pic.twitter.com/aGIA2tN9Ps
— Francis Atwoli NOM (DZA), CBS, EBS, MBS. (@AtwoliDza) January 24, 2022