Central Organizations for Trade Unions (COTU-K) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli revealed that he made a phone call to Azimio leader Raila Odinga before meeting President William Ruto at State House on on Thursday, December 1.
Speaking at a funeral in Khwisero, Kakamega County, on Saturday, December 3, Atwoli stated that he explained to Raila that he had to meet Ruto for the sake of the workers that he represented.
He explained that standing by the former Prime Minister against the government would jeopardise his job and be at the expense of Kenyan workers.
“I explained to Raila that I have my own constituency which I represent and that I engaged in politics of representation where I support worker-related issues – but we did not get the presidency.
“As an international labour leader, I went to those who got it so that they help me implement the international labour convention standards that I am recognised for globally,” Atwoli remarked.
The COTU boss revealed that among the topics discussed were the benefits of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to workers.
However, he hinted that his newly found relationship would stretch longer than Ruto’s five-year term.
“If that young man (Ruto) snatched the seat from us yet we had Uhuru Kenyatta, who was the government, what makes you think that he will not walk over us in 2027?” Atwoli posed.
In addition, he revealed that he and the head of state looked past the bitter exchange they had before the elections citing the kukata miti Sugoi and mzee wa nyororo slurs.
Atwoli downplayed accusations that he warmed up to Ruto for personal interests adding that the meeting was held in broad daylight.
He disclosed that he did not meet the president alone and was accompanied by Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and Kakamega Senator Boni Khakwale.
The outspoken trade unionist endorsed Mudavadi as the Western region kingpin, and called on him to unite the region to speak in one voice.