COTU boss Francis Atwoli has congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga for putting aside their ideological differences and agreeing to work towards reconciling the country.
Atwoli, who has consistently been calling for the two political nemeses to embrace dialogue since last year, said the pact was long overdue.
“If this meeting had happened as early as September last year soon after the August 8 polls, we would not have lost over 100,000 jobs,” Atwoli said.
In an interview with KTN on Friday, the COTU Secretary-General called on Jubilee and NASA supporters to accept the reconciliation deal.
He said it is obvious some of them are not happy about the political development and may show dissent but he urged them to put the country first.
“They must remain calm and peaceful and should purpose to foster peace throughout the country. People want peace, people want jobs, tourists want to visit and investors want to invest in a peaceful country,” Atwoli said.
He said the programme that Uhuru and Raila have agreed to roll out in the coming days to implement their shared objectives must include the grievances raised by Raila on electoral justice.
Atwoli said the president must now embark on leaving a lasting legacy during his last tenure by ensuring the 2022 elections are not marred by the same problems witnessed last year.
“This can be done in a one-to-one atmosphere. Let them talk to their MPs and ask them to change (electoral) laws in a mutually acceptable manner.”
Atwoli said the dialogue on reconciling the country should also be all-inclusive and must steer away from sharing of power.
“We need to reflect as Kenyans, where had we gone wrong. We need to relook at our Constitution and change some things like elections and parliamentary representation.”
“Issues like the number of MPs in parliament, is our economy able to support them while the cost of living is going up? We need to review the progress we have made in devolution and how the devolved functions like health are performing,” Atwoli said.
He said Labour Day is fast approaching and COTU is in talks with the government over workers’ welfare but things are looking bleak after the government recently admitted that it was broke.
“The truth is that once we moved from rolling out development programmes in terms of millions and went into rolling out programmes in terms of billions, we can’t have enough money because we have sunk into heavy debts.”
He said the pact between Uhuru and Raila is a good starting point for Kenya to put itself back on the right track and avoid tribal politics.