Africa-Press – Kenya. Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has come under sharp criticism after he declared support for South Africa’s ruling party at the expense of Musalia Mudavadi’s party.
In a statement on his official Twitter account on Monday, November 22, the trade Unionist stated that he had no association with Mudavadi’s party, the Amani National Congress (ANC), further declaring his allegiance to South Africa President Cyril Ramaposa and the African National Congress (ANC).
The COTU boss went ahead to state that his party of preference in Kenya was KANU. However, he acknowledged that the party was one of the coalition partners in the One Kenya Alliance(OKA).
“I am a life member of KANU and not ‘ANC’. The only ANC I am somewhat associated with is that of S.A which has roots in the Labour Movement and under the leadership of my brother Cyril Ramaposa. However, my KANU party leader is working with Musalia,” Atwoli stated.
However, using the #AtwolibackOffANC, online users slammed Atwoli for declaring support for the South African party. Some of the users accused the trade unionist of engaging on issues of foreign affairs at the expense of issues affecting the country.
“Kenyan workers are suffering while the self-proclaimed COTU SG is busy poking his nose on ANC affairs,” John Vundi stated.
Local politics also played out as some of the social media users from western Kenya accused the COTU boss of supporting Raila’s presidential bid when Mudavadi, a leader he endorsed as the community’s kingpin in the run to 2017 General Election was also in the race.
On several occasions, the COTU boss has urged the OKA principals to drop their presidential ambitions in favour of Raila who he stated was likely to defeat Deputy President William Ruto.
This follows the appointment of Atwoli as the negotiator of the community as they seek to partner with other political allies ahead of the 2022 polls.
In the midst of the backlash, a section of the online users also voiced their support for the COTU boss expressing that he had the right to express his own political opinion.
“The wealthy businessmen reportedly bankroll campaigns for top presidential contenders and other candidates for various seats. However, most of them prefer to pull the strings away from the public eye unlike what Atwoli does, he must show off,” True Asembo stated.
Since Atwoli published the tweet, the hashtag has been trending on Twitter further attracting comments from a cross-section of Kenyans.