By Dorcas Sarkozy
Francis Atwoli became the Secretary General of Cotu even before I was born. I do not know what the constitution of the Umbrella body of workers says but I think there should be term limits for any public officer. I do not even remember if they have ever held elections.
For a man to remain in power for so long, he must be using unorthodox means to keep a vice like grip on the Secretary General’s position, which comes with generous perks.
Apart from his thunderous voice that can easily intimidate his opponents he has achieved little for workers. The occasional pay rise announced on Labour day is a slap on the face of workers. What is 10% salary increment for a worker earning Kshs 7000 per month? Even so, it has never been his initiative. This is the benevolence of the government to appease a demotivated long suffering segment of our working populace.
Meanwhile as workers continue to suffer under the weight of price increases of essential goods and services the man continues to pocket six figure salary and numerous allowances.
Anyone who dares cross his path faces his wrath. He will come to you hammer and tongs in a bid to protect his tuff. If you are in doubt, ask the late Kabete MP George Muchai. Before he died the two were not seeing eye to eye, with Muchai threatening to expose his alleged underhand dealings.
He purports to fight for the underprivileged while in real sense he fights for himself, to safeguard his position, power and standing in Society.
He threatened to mobilize all workers to go on strike in solidarity with Teachers. But it was just hot air because he abandoned them when they needed him most.
He has overstayed at COTU and now runs it as personal property. He has found a way of stifling dissent and creating a powerful hegemony. He must relinquish power to someone else, probably a younger man/woman, who will steer the workers body into a truly representative one