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Raila, Oparanya in heated war of words with Atwoli during COTU Chairman's burial

Atwoli backed Raila's bid for presidency in the 2022 general polls but changed allegiance after Ruto won and took office.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga and COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli

The burial of the late Cotu chairman Rajab Mwondi's funeral in Vihiga took a political tur when Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli found himself at the center of a heated confrontation with Azimio leaders.

The clash stemmed from remarks Atwoli had made during an Interdenominational Thanksgiving and Prayer Service in Kanduyi, Bungoma County, where he urged President Ruto to consider appointing 'idle' Azimio leaders to quell anti-government protests.

Atwoli's comments had triggered a fiery response from the Azimio coalition, with Raila Odinga taking the lead.

Raila asserted that Azimio politicians including former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had no need for any appointment from the government, as he already held significant responsibilities within the ODM party.


"Mr. Atwoli, I don't know what office you want to appoint Oparanya to. ODM is Oparanya's office, and it's a big party with many elected leaders. Let those in the opposition do their oversight work," Raila said.

Oparanya himself expressed his displeasure at Atwoli's remarks, considering them disrespectful.

"Francis Atwoli, I respect you even if you don't have anything nice to say. No matter that we are neighbours, to come out and embarrass me is not in order. To say that I am idle, that is why I am protesting, is disrespectful," Oparanya said.


Furthermore, Oparanya revealed that Atwoli had distanced himself from him after he aligned himself with the government.

"You used to call me to your house, and we would eat together. But today, you don't call me. If you are eating alone, just go ahead. We, on the other hand, do not sleep hungry," he added.

Despite the heated exchange, Atwoli stood his ground. He responded to the Azimio leaders by doubling down on his assertion that they did not have offices.


"The truth is that these Azimio leaders do not have offices. Tell me where Eugene Wamalwa's office is, where Wajackoyah's office is," Atwoli countered.

Atwoli backed Raila's bid for the presidency in the 2022 general polls but changed allegiance after Ruto won and took office.


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