Kenya: I Will Contest Until a Worthy Opponent Unseats Me - Atwoli

Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli has vowed to continue contesting for the same position in future until he gets a worthy challenger.

Speaking during an event in Kilifi to celebrate his re-election unopposed as the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary-general for a fifth term, Mr Atwoli said the election outcome was an indication that the union still has confidence in him.

"I have been talking about serving my last term but as things unfold, it appears I shall not have the last term in this particular position," he said, adding, "I might be here for as long as those who have entrusted their job security in my hands want me."

This comes barely three months after the longest-serving Cotu secretary-general, while at his Nakuru farm in January this year, said he was preparing for retirement.

"Spending the evening in my small farm in Nakuru looking after my cows and the hays being prepared for the dry season, as I prepare to retire... ," he said back then.

Last Friday, Mr Atwoli was elected unopposed after his only challenger, Kenya National Union of Nurses boss Seth Panyako, was barred from the race for not being a bona fide member of Cotu.

All the 34 members of the secretariat and executive board were also elected unopposed during the election, presided over by an official from the Ministry of Labour, at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu.

Mr Atwoli has served as Cotu SG for 20 years having first been elected to the position in 2001.

Following his re-election last week, the Cotu honcho took to social media to thank all workers and their representatives for allowing him to serve them.

"We promise to never cease speaking for you (even) though heavens fall. We promise to remain true to serving you as you remained true to serving all Kenyans," he posted in his official Twitter account.

The 12 officials of the secretariat include Rajabu Mwondi (chairman), Joel Chebii (first vice-chairman), Francis Murage (second vice-chairman), Benson Okwaro (deputy secretary-general), Ernest Nadome (first assistant secretary-general) and Carolyn Rutto (second assistant secretary-general).

Others are Rebecca Nyathogora (treasurer-general), Washington Adongo (deputy treasurer), Francis Wangara (first trustee) and Joseph Onchonga (second trustee).

The 22 members of the executive board were also elected in the process that took place both virtually and physically.

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