Reach out to Raila, Atwoli tells Uhuru - Daily Nation

Atwoli urges President Uhuru Kenyatta to dialogue with Raila

Monday August 14 2017

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli speaks on August 13, 2017. He urged President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta to dialogue with Nasa leader Raila Odinga in order to end the current acts of violence in the country. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli speaks on August 13, 2017. He urged President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta to dialogue with Nasa leader Raila Odinga in order to end the current acts of violence in the country. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By FAITH NYAMAI
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Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to reach out to Nasa leader Raila Odinga for dialogue in order to calm the current acts of violence in the country.

While addressing a press conference Sunday, Mr Atwoli said the President and Mr Odinga should hold talks as soon as possible and ensure there is peace.

“We cannot be fighting forever while we have problems like unemployment [that] need urgent attention,” he said.

Mr Atwoli condemned the use of live bullets by police officers to disperse demonstrating Kenyans saying such acts must be stopped.

The Cotu boss said Mr Odinga has a right to reject the presidential results if he was not satisfied with the results announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Friday.

PROTESTS

“I am not saying that Raila should concede. He has a right to reject the results but Kenyans should not suffer from police brutality because of exercising their democratic right to protest peacefully,” he said.

He further asked the IEBC to explain to Kenyans what happened to their technology and why they had printed excess ballot papers.

Mr Atwoli argued that even international observers have agreed that no election can be perfect and if people are aggrieved, they should be proven to that the election was free and fair.

He said those who won the elections should celebrate with decorum and those who demonstrating allowed to do so by the police.

WORKERS KILLED

“Those who have died are workers of this country and it pains us. All political leaders must embrace peace as every election cannot be followed by violence,” he said.

He said it is not right for the country to fear elections because it may cause young people to die.

“From tomorrow (Monday) we want to see Kenyans going about their businesses without intimidation and harassment from police,” he said.

Mr Atwoli said the situation should be addressed urgently as it can also scare away tourists.

“We don’t want to see workers locked up in their houses [unable] go to work,” he said.

MATIANG'I

He asked the acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to look for a diplomatic way of dealing with the current situation saying police are killing innocent Kenyans.

“We do not want incitement from anyone and this time round police are inciting people by shooting and killing them for exercising their democratic right to protest,” he said.

Cotu also wants the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to issue a directive to police officers to stop killing and harassing innocent people.

On Saturday, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said reports indicate that 24 Kenyans have died since election day.

The commission’s Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori revealed that 17 were killed in Nairobi, two in Homabay, one in Kisumu, two in Migori and two in Siaya.