UDA hits back at Atwoli, calls him ancient campaign expert

The statements go against the tenets of democracy - Hussein Mohammed

Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli during a recent press conference at Tom Mboya Labor College, Kisumu. He has told Deputy President William Ruto to leave the Luhya community alone. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) has released a statement conveying disappointment with COTU Secretary-general Francis Atwoli's crude suicide 'joke' concerning Deputy President William Ruto.

"The remarks by their ancient campaign expert Francis Atwoli, are completely unnecessary and go against the tenets of democracy," revealed UDA Head of Communications Hussein Mohammed in a press release.

Speaking during the rollout of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme at Port Reitz Sub-County Hospital in Mombasa on Monday, Atwoli told neighbours of the DP to cut down all trees to supposedly prevent him from taking his life once election results are announced.

"Those who are close to William Ruto should cut down all the trees in Sugoi or else he will hang himself when the results are announced in August," said Atwoli.

UDA officials, clearly incensed by the remarks, made it clear how they were mind boggled by not only the statement but also the reaction by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, who were both in attendance.

"To use suicide as humor in electioneering, at a National health function attended by the Health Cabinet Secretary and presided by the Head of State and consequently finding it funny, is a demonstration of just how far these elite are from the realities and struggles of the Kenyan Hustler," read the statement in part.

A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the number of suicides reported in the country rose by 58 per cent between 2008 and 2017. There are 317 suicide cases reported every year.

"We understand our competitors cannot comprehend this because theirs is a coalition of the elite to maintain the privilege they enjoy at the expense of ordinary Kenyans," concluded Mohammed.

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