Intrigues in Uhuru succession game – Weekly Citizen


The unprecedented war of words pitting Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli against William Ruto has brazenly peaked in some recent days.


Ruto allies claim that Atwoli is one of the key financiers of “Stop Ruto Movement” and enjoys the support of powerful faces surrounding the Uhuru Kenyatta including David Murathe, former Jubilee vice-chairman.
Insiders within the DP camp further claim that the Kieleweke bandwagon has already embarked on an early referendum campaign pushing for the creation of new political seats through the change of the anticipated constitution with Atwoli being the key architect.
In the scheme, is to have Tanga Tanga side being opposed to the referendum change while the Kieleweke troop is backing the constitution.
Currently at its apex, the Atwoli-Ruto public spat embodies the intrigues of the 2022 succession politics in which the DP is a key player.
With the bare-knuckled antagonism, it is clearly emerging that the highstake battle has all to do with boardroom politics at the strategic National Social Security Fund and National Health Insurance Fund; two influential state corporations whose multi billion shillings endowment are worth dying for.
For starters, both NSSF and NHIF boards draw significant workers’ representation. Be that as it may, it has now transpired that the DP and his allies have for some time now been on the roll scheming to the umbrella workers’ body representatives from the two board’s party to facilitate access to public coffers well ahead of the 2022 succession polls.
Over years, both NSSF and NHIF have played central roles in election campaigns, with billions of shillings said to be diverted to aid privileged government officials’ war chests.
In the latest round of intrigues, Atwoli has sensationally remained rigid in the well-coordinated ploy that would otherwise see billions of shillings channeled towards selfish political interests. Perhaps to perfect his game plan, the veteran trade unionist has successfully been employing both legal and parliamentary mechanisms to frustrate Ruto’s schemes.

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli

The Cotu boss has on his side a sizeable collection of MPs to do his bidding to stop Ruto’s designs on NSSF and NHIF on the one hand, and 2022 on the other.
At NSSF, Atwoli is understood to get on pretty well with the chairman Julius Karangi and a section of the board on which Atwoi sits.
The same can be said of NHIF where the outspoken trade unionist reportedly commands significant respect in spite of him not sitting on the board. The workers’ boss is reportedly briefed on the goings on by the line member of the board, who incidentally happens to be his designated appointee.
Perhaps, aware of Atwoli’s forceful presence on the trade union scene, Ruto is said to have at one time wanted aimed at scuttling Cotu’s operations by planting a rival workers’ union, the Federation of Public Service Trade Union of Kenya.
More recently, the DP has been using the leader of majority in the national assembly Aden Duale to dethrone workers representatives at NSSF and NSSF vide sponsored motions that have however run into headwinds, thanks, to Atwoli allied MPs in parliament that have managed to shoot down the said motions.


Kalonzo Musyoka

Analysts say the happenings at the May 1, Labour Day fete at Uhuru Park where more than 100 MPs and leading political lights including former vice presidents Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka were in attendance was a manifestation of might to Atwoli’s credit.
It is imperative to note that the DP has been bankrolling MPs allied to his Tanga Tanga bandwagon to accompany him to countrywide campaign meetings severally disguised as development or church functions.
It therefore came as a telling statement when lawmakers elected to this time round stood with Atwoli, the very rubble rouser that recently declared Ruto shall not be on the ballot come 2022.

As things stand, the Stop Ruto Movement apparently revolves around political heavyweights including nominated MP Maina Kamanda and the influential Cotu boss.
Atwoli has of late been a permanent fixture on significant political events, gracing one event after another; from Murang’a to Jogoo Road.
More importantly, the anti-Ruto machinery is a personification of unseen powerful forces surrounding Uhuru.
Weekly Citizen has learnt that were the Atwoli-Kamanda grouping now pushing for the formation of a holy alliance not in the picture now to counter the Tanga Tanga outfit, Ruto and his cheerleaders would all be smiles well ahead of 2022. Atwoli, Kamanda that also have Peter Kenneth and MPs is emerging a major road block to Ruto presidential bid.
The Uhuru succession race is shaping into two camps, the pro-Ruto and anti-Ruto. It is here that Atwoli factor is not only cropping up at the national level but also in Luhya politics.
With last year’s handshake firmly in place, opposition leader Raila Odinga cannot be expected to come out in the open and hit out at Ruto – Uhuru’s principal assistant – and his motley crew of allies.
With the so-called opposition leaders in Nasa having virtually gone mute, save for preaching the anti-corruption theme, Atwoli, Kamanda and Kenneth stand to position themselves as a powerful force to counter Ruto in the jigsaw puzzle that is the 2022 succession politics.
The anti-Ruto camp had planned a rally at Kakamega town but cancelled at the last minute due to what is said to be differences rotating around Mudavadi and nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi with other claims that Mudavadi was hosting his party MPs in Mombasa. Kenneth coordinating the group activities and to avoid hiccups is planning to open a coordination office in Nairobi. Over 100 MPs were to attend the Kakamega rally. Analysts say Mudavadi is trying to play it neutral and come up with a third force in the succession race which it is feared that he will find himself lonely.
Already, Kalonzo and Raila have taken sides and are on Uhuru’s sid


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