BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,12TH APRIL,2022-Central Organization Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli is proposing that key leaders in trade unions be nominated to Parliament without going through political parties.
Atwoli stated that even though the constitution states that trade union workers should be nominated to the August house to give workers a voice, political outfits should not be the avenue for that.
The COTU SG was speaking during a meeting held in Nairobi where he urged Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Leader Raila to look into the proposal should he win the Presidential election.
“We don’t want to go through the political parties, we want to have our own constituents. So that workers can sit down and decide that we are choosing these leaders,” he stated.
Atwoli has over the last decade lobbied for nomination of trade unionists to parliament with a view to represent workers.
His efforts paid off as Article 97 (c) of the Constitution now requires political parties to nominate 12 members to the National Assembly to represent special interests including the youth, persons with disabilities and workers.
“We don’t have to go through KANU where am a member or through ODM or any other party. Let’s have our constituents,” he said.
Atwoli has previously lamented that some external forces, interests and pressure to have workers not represented in Parliament.
At the commencement of the 12th Parliament, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) officials elected or nominated to the National Assembly or Senate were asked to relinquish their positions.
Former KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion was nominated by ODM to the National Assembly as a representative of workers while KUPPET chairman Omboko Milemba and assistant national treasurer Ronald Tonui won the Emuhaya and Bomet Central MP seats respectively.
Atwoli however opposed the push citing veteran trade unionists such as the late Tom Mboya, Dennis Akumu, Fred Kubai and Juma Boy who were elected to Parliament while still union officials.