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Stay put, Atwoli advises Kimunya

NAIROBI, July 7 – Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli was in defence of Finance Minister Amos Kimunya Monday, saying he should not resign over the Grand Regency hotel saga.

Atwoli said Kimunya would commit "political suicide" if he resigned, urging him to stand firm.

"Why should Kimunya resign? He will be seen as a coward if he bows to pressure to resign. Let him stand firm as a real man," Atwoli said at a workshop on Capacity Building on Forced Labour in Nairobi.

Atwoli said there were other legal mechanisms of dealing with the Finance Minister instead of rallying for his resignation.

"I do not understand why politicians and human rights activists are urging Kimunya to resign. If he has committed a crime there are better ways of dealing with him without necessarily having to resign," he said.

Politicians and human rights activists have been asking Kimunya to quit office for allegedly failing to follow the laid down procurement and valuation process in the sale of the prestigious Grand Regency hotel that was sold to the Libyans.

Parliament last Wednesday passed a motion of no confidence against him and MPs vowed not to discuss any bills from the Ministry, particularly on the proposed 2008/09 Budget expenditures.

The motion introduced in the House by Ikolomani Member of Parliament Dr Bonny Khalwale was supported by a majority of MPs from both sides of the house, including his own cronies.

On Sunday, the embattled Finance Minister retreated to his Kipipiri constituency form where he fired salvos at his critics and vowed to remain put.

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"I rather die than quit my job as the Finance Minister," he told his constituents during his first ever public pronouncements over the hotel saga since a vote of censure was passed in Parliament.

He said he would not resign unless Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Attorney General Amos Wako, Lands Minister James Orengo and Kenya Anti-Corruption boss Aaron Ringera resigned "because they were involved" in the sale.


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