Despite endorsing Musalia Mudavadi as Luhya spokesperson and pleading with the community to rally their support behind him, Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has withdrawn his support for the Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader after the NASA co-principal skipped Raila Odinga’s swearing-in ceremony.
Addressing mourners at Seregeya village, in Likuyani Sub County during the burial of Human Rights Activist Kennedy Wafula, COTU boss Atwoli withdrew his endorsement terming Mudavadi a coward who could not fight and defend his brother in time of need.
Atwoli begged for forgiveness from the community for endorsing a leader who couldn’t fight for democratic rights of his people. “I will never again in my lifetime support Musalia Mudavadi, I know I have offended the Luhya community but I beg for your forgiveness,” said Atwoli adding it was disappointing the NASA co-principal skipped the event for fear of being arrested.
“I reached out to on phone Mudavadi to find out what had happened after failing to see him at Uhuru park and he shocking answered me he was not ready to be arrested because Raila’s oathing was unconstitutional and he was going to be arrested. I can never continue
supporting such a coward,” said Trade Union boss.
He said prior to the January 30th event while in Homabay County Musalia had promised to attend the function and it was surprising he didn’t show up, “If he knew the function was unconstitutional he should have gone to the press and told his supporters he will not be part of an illegal function,” said Atwoli.
The COTU boss revealed he would convene a meeting that will bring together all Western Kenya leaders to chart a way forward ahead of the 2022 general elections with a view to ensuring the community cast their votes in one basket behind one of their own who will never entertain cowardice.
Responding to Atwoli’s allegations, NASA co-principal and Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetangula who also attended the burial defended the move to skip the function arguing their absence was a planned act. “Raila is our president, he is our partner, we are co-principals, if he was offended in any way he would have said it on the spot, but he said he knew where Musalia, Weta and Kalonzo were and he understood why they were not present at the function. In war, you go with two things; tact and strategy and skipping the occasion was part of our tact and strategy we are not fools, and I can assure you we are united and soon we are going to swear in Kalonzo as Raila’s deputy you wait and you will see,” said Wetengula.
The burial was also attended by Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, MPs Enoch Kibunguchy (Likuyani), Ayub Savula (Lugari), Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini), Wafula Wamunyinyi ( Kanduyi), Caleb Amisi (Saboti), and several Members of County Assembly from Bungoma, Kakamega and Trans Nzoia counties.
Also present were human rights activists from various part of the country and neighbouring Uganda who eulogized Wafula as a courageous man who feared nothing and stood firm to defend human rights.