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Atwoli Cautions Politicians against Derailing BBI

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has cautioned politicians against derailing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) process.

Atwoli said the politicians who are busy realigning themselves ahead of the 2022 general elections are pushing to throw the BBI and planned referendum to the back-burner to advance their selfish interests.

He said Kenyans must be given a chance to effect the changes advanced by the BBI through a referendum to address gaps in governance and challenges experienced every election year.

The labour movement, Atwoli said, was keeping track of the BBI process and would mount to pressure on all concerned parties to ensure that the document is passed.

Through BBI, workers stand to reap more benefits since the document guarantees equality and peaceful elections which are key in safeguarding the work environment.

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli conversing with a delegate soon after he was unanimously being re-elected by the giant Union for another five-year term. This happened despite inside sources revealing that his sole rival, Seth Panyako had obtained a court order seeking to stop the election. Atwoli supporters termed it a futile attempt. Photo by Joseph Ouma

“Workers are worst hit every election year due to post election violence and BBI is the only solution to the menace,” he added. “This BBI is our baby and we are not ready to abandon it. Even if the politicians abandon it we shall push it to the end,” reiterated Atwoli.

Speaking at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu on Friday, the secretary general asked the government to ensure prudent expenditure of borrowed funds to grow the economy and safeguard Kenyans against the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The recent facility secured by the government from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said, must be injected in once profitable but struggling state corporations to generate revenue and at the same time ensure that workers are not laid off.

“We want all relevant government agencies to ensure that no single cent is lost so as to cushion Kenyans against the harsh negative economic effects of Covid-19,” he said.

Atwoli who was unanimously re-elected as COTU Secretary General for another five-year term assured workers that he will continue fighting for their rights to ensure a stable and secure working environment.

By Chris Mahandara

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