Atwoli Sheds Light on Claims of Changing Tune on Ruto Housing Fund

COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli speaking during Social Protection Conference on Tuesday April 4, 2023
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli speaking during Social Protection Conference on Tuesday April 4, 2023.
Francis Atwoli

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli dismissed media reports that Kenyan workers were conflicted over the proposed housing levy.

In a statement on Wednesday, May 31, COTU noted that the reports were false and the matter had already been finalised.

Further, the giant trade union noted that there were no discussions on affordable housing projects during the recently concluded retreat in Kisumu on May 23.

“This is completely false. The Housing Fund was not on the agenda of the recently concluded COTU (K) leaders retreat, considering it was discussed and finalised on May 1st, 2023,” COTU stated.

A photo of President William Ruto and COTU boss Francis Atwoli during the Labour Day Celebrations at Uhuru Gardens on May 1, 2023

Additionally, the report in question noted that an insider at the union had revealed that the veteran trade unionist met with members to coerce them to support the bill.

This was after the union failed to make any recommendations concerning the bill during public hearings.

COTU noted that the information was false explaining that all the leaders of the union were in full support of the secretary general on the matter.

“All our affiliates are fully united under the Secretary-General on this and other issues,” added the statement. 

The vocal trade unionist on May 8, faulted members of the union and public servants for protesting the housing levy explaining that they failed to attend a meeting with the president where the matter was discussed and concluded. 

He warned against politicising the matter asking them to embrace social dialogue.

“It is regrettable that a constitutional right and an agreement between the government and workers is politicised.

"COTU would like to encourage the trade unionists who skipped labour day celebrations and the meeting with the president to embrace social dialogue and stop politicising serious matters,” COTU stated. 

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli making an address on May 9, 2023.