Azimio leader Raila Odinga on Saturday shared a podium with Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli for the first time since the trade unionist switched camps and pledged to support President William Ruto.
Raila and Atwoli met on Saturday, September 2, in Vihiga County where they attended the burial ceremony of COTU Chairman Rajab Mwondi.
The meeting in Vihiga is the first known public meeting since the COTU boss on December 1, 2022, met President William Ruto in Nairobi and pledged to support the Head of State who he had strongly opposed before the 2022 presidential election.
At the burial ceremony, the two sat close to each other, and appeared to be in good spirits.
Raila and Atwoli were flanked by other leaders, including senior COTU managers.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader, had long enjoyed the support of COTU. In April 2022, Atwoli, speaking on behalf of the trade union threw his weight behind Raila's presidential bid.
COTU Chairman Rajab Mwondi passed away on Wednesday, August 16, at the age 67 years old. Mwondi was born in Vihiga, Kenya, and began his career as a trade unionist in the early 1980s.
He rose through the ranks of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), and eventually became chairman.
Mwondo was a staunch advocate for workers' rights and social justice.
He led COTU in several successful campaigns to improve wages, working conditions, and social security for Kenyan workers. He was also a vocal critic of government policies he believed were detrimental to workers' interests.
On his part, Atwoli surprised political observers when he declared his support for President William Ruto after the Head of State beat Raila in the 2022 presidential election.
Atwoli campaigned vigorously against Ruto's presidency and even went on record stating that Ruto would not succeed former President Uhuru Kenyatta.