...as Atwoli seeks presidency
The recent court ruling declaring the Kadhi courts in the current constitution illegal has shocked many. But what I found even more interesting are the rumour mills in Nairobi pointing an accusing fingers at some prominent people on the YES camp as being the ones behind the court ruling.
It would seem that there are some people working around the clock to ensure that finally one of the many spanners they are throwing into the works to stop the train that is called a new constitution will work and bring it to a grinding halt.
First it was the NSIS alterations in the draft at the printing stage. Now comes this bizarre court ruling.
The big question is; will they finally succeed?
I don’t think so. But what worries me most is that the rich and powerful are greatly underestimating the resolve of the Kenyan people to get a new constitution. The last time when Mwai Kibaki underestimated the resolve of the Kenyan people for change, the world saw the repercussions as Kenya exploded. I don’t want to think what would happen if for some reason the constitutional process was stopped on some technicality.
The constitutional court ruling left many legal professionals surprised. To the ordinary Kenyan it was yet another reason why Kenyans don’t trust our courts. Majority of those I surveyed in a quick survey I have done over the last day or so are convinced that money changed hands to influence the strange court verdict.
Meanwhile Francis Atwilo wants to be the next president of Kenya. Who is Atwoli?
Francis Atwoli is a long serving trade unionist who is the current secretary general of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Kenya). He was elected to the board in 2002 having worked for several years as a member of the Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union. He has consistently presented himself as a vocal advocate for workers rights frequently making his famous animated speeches in events such as Labour Day criticizing politicians on issues such as their refusal to pay taxes on their allowances, and dabbling in corruption. He has also been critical of Non-Governmental bodies interfering with labour disputes, and global institutions including the World Bank and their policies in Kenya.
Since last year Atwoli has been holding meetings all over country (exclusively televised by Citizen TV each time without fail) ostensibly to put pressure on the political class to deliver a new constitution to the people of Kenya. Now it seems that his motives were much deeper than that. He told his latest meeting in Kikuyu (to raise funds for a church) that he will later be going around the country to ask the people for their support for a certain office in the next government. He then told the meeting that he was sure he will be in the next government. There are not many offices you can seek countrywide support for. In fact it is only one, the presidency.
In recent times those close to Atwoli have been insisting that he is going for the presidency. Now a section of the media has recently confirmed this.
Some people think that Atwoli is a big joke and not fit for the office of the presidency. I don’t agree. But what should excite Kenyans is not whether he can win or not, but the new kind of politics he is using to campaign for the office completely devoid of tribalism and tribal pointmen.