In a foreword in the COTU Secretary General’s book “Francis Atwoli: Fame, Force and Fury” President Uhuru Kenyatta describes Atwoli as the most flamboyant trade unionist and defender of workers’ rights in Kenya since the exit of Tom Mboya in the late 1960s.
He has hosted at Camp Francis all Luhya politicians including sitting, former, and those eyeing political seats. Governors from the Western region are frequently spotted. As a nationalist, Camp Francis has hosted politicians across the 47 Counties in Kenya and Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries.
A walk down memory lane: Francis Atwoli, COTU Secretary-General, has dismissed former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi (a.k.a. the abracadabra presidential candidate) and Moses Wetang’ula as “useless irredeemable cowards” for pulling out of Mr. Raila Odinga’s mock swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, January 30.
Atwoli said the three are opportunists who can’t take risks, adding, “I said it in Kisumu in 2007 when Kalonzo ditched Raila and said ‘nitapitia katikati yao’. That was a betrayal of social justice because you are a coward and you will never be a national leader,” he said.
“Mudavadi is like a pig that returns to the filth immediately you clean it. These are not leaders, but opportunists. Uhuru should not be afraid of them,” Atwoli said matter-of-factly.
He said Tuesday, January 30 was a test for Kenyans “to see some of the political opportunists who would vanish when there is a risk to take”.
Atwoli, a diehard supporter of Mr. Odinga, said he had withdrawn his support for the abracadabra presidential candidate and will never support him again.
“He abandoned Raila at his hour of need and I will never support him again,” he said.
He said the Luhya community must redraw its strategy ahead of the 2022 General Election because it has no leaders.
Atwoli confirmed he had called the ANC leader to know why he was not at Uhuru Park but the abracadabra presidential candidate told him “Raila will be arrested because the swearing-in is illegal”.
“I told him that he was the one who feared arrest. He is a coward and I will never back him again.”
In Luhya politics, Atwoli was instrumental in the anointment of Mudavadi as the community leader prior to 2017 polls. Although, he seems to have of late fallen out with Mudavadi over what is said to be Mudavadi’s hesitancy in making serious political decisions.