COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has refuted claims that he wished Deputy President William Ruto dead.
According to him, his message was that Ruto will not be in the next government after changes are made to the Constitution.
“While I was in Lamu, I did not say that Ruto will die, no, but I said the referendum is coming and that there will be six slots, mark my words, Kalonzo Musyoka will be among the six but Ruto’s name will not be there” he said.
William Ruto’s name will not be on the ballot paper come 2022; you can take that to the bank! – Francis Atwoli pic.twitter.com/3evMuhsxRh
— Citizen TV Kenya (@citizentvkenya) April 13, 2019
He was speaking during the burial of former Cotu Secretary General Justus Mulei Velle at Kakeani in Kitui West constituency.
His statement comes days after MPs from Western Kenya allied to the DP castigated Atwoli for allegedly threatening Dr. Ruto.
Some questioned how Atwoli can claim that the DP will not be on the ballot yet he is not God.
They further called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe the remarks from Atwoli while he was in Lamu over the weekend.
DP Ruto had responded to Atwoli’s remarks terming it as witchcraft and adding that leaders who make such sentiments require prayers.
“In this country right now, the contest is between two groups; those who believe in God and those who believe in witchcraft. When you hear someone saying that he has been told by witch-doctors that a certain person will be on ballot and the other will not… it tells you a lot about where the country is right now,” Dr. Ruto told the congregation at the Salvation Army Citadel in Kakamega County on Sunday.
On Wednesday however, Atwoli told off his critics and defended himself saying he is a pronounced Catholic and politicians should stop misleading Kenyans.
He remained adamant that he would not be intimidated but “will remain to be brave and not fear.”
“We should not twist words but I want to urge the President to help in scuttling this very wrongdoer,” Atwoli added.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka who had accompanied Atwoli kept away from the debate on succession politics instead choosing to mourn the late Velle as a mature politician who embraced competition without hate.
“The late Justus was my competitor in a by-election in 1983 in which I emerged the winner but after I beat him he embraced me and supported my leadership,” said Kalonzo.
The Wiper Leader added that the late Justus was a great trade unionist who championed the welfare of Kenyan workers in the 1980’s making it possible for them to work for five days in a week instead of 7.
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