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BY CORRESPONDENT,KAKAMEGA,28TH JAN 2018-Central orginization of trade unions (COTU ) Secretary general Francis Atwoli has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to let Nasa proceed with the planned swearing-in of its leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to avoid possible tragadies and confrontation with opposition supporters which could lead to deaths.
“We don’t want the country to deteriorate into chaos because of confrontations between opposition supporters and security personnel deployed to stop the swearing-in of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka,” he said on Sunday.
Mr Atwoli had earlier opposed the planned oath taking and instead lobbied for dialogue.
Atwoli who was speaking at the burial of his relative Gideon Andenga in Khwisero Constituency, Kakamega County, said he had unsuccessfully pleaded with President Kenyatta to engage the opposition in dialogue to avoid unnecessary confrontations that could plunge the country into chaos.
“Since President Kenyatta does not want to meet the opposition for dialogue, he should not send the police to Uhuru Park to stop the swearing-in ceremony. He should let Nasa proceed with swearing in and then look at what (happens) next. That way, we will have peace,” he said.
Mr Atwoli said any attempt by security officers to violently to stop the swearing-in ceremony would ignite violence and bloodshed.
“We do not want to go that route again. If President Kenyatta does not want to meet the opposition, let him allow the swearing-in proceed. That will create peace in our country,’’ said Mr Atwoli.
He said the outbreak of violence would further derail efforts to get the country’s economy back on track and create employment opportunities.
“We want an economy that can create employment for our men and women. And we can only do that… if we have some mechanism in place to stabilise our politics and spur economic growth that will absorb everyone,” said the trade unionist.
Mr Atwoli said after the August 8, 2017 polls, President Kenyatta had asked him to tell the opposition to go court and challenge the outcome of the election if they were dissatisfied with the results.
“That is exactly what I did and Nasa listened to me and challenged the election results at the Supreme Court.
“I have been pleading with President Kenyatta to talk to the opposition after they boycotted the repeat presidential election on October 26, 2017 and announced they were planning the swearing-in ceremony, but he is not interested,” said Mr Atwoli.
Nasa has maintained that the Tuesday swearing-in will go on as planned.
The coalition has said it won the August 8, 2017 election and does not recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.
The Cotu boss also urged the President to nominate more women in his Cabinet for gender equity.
He asked President Kenyatta to reserve other Cabinet posts for women.
He also urged Parliament to vet the Cabinet nominees quickly so they can soon start work.