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Vet them thoroughly, advises Atwoli

NAIROBI, October 7 – Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli on Tuesday urged Kenyans to question the philosophy of leaders fronting themselves for the 2012 presidential race.

Speaking during celebrations to mark the ‘World Day for Decent Work’, Atwoli charged that the leaders who were lining themselves for the presidency lacked vision that will uplift the lives of Kenyans.

“I have said once and again that as an elder citizen of this country I am trying to see who will be the ‘Moses’ when President Kibaki retires in 2012. Look at them critically and analyse them and lastly ask them if they can make any meaningful change to this nation because most of them have been tested elsewhere.”

He accused the leaders of focusing on enriching themselves instead of addressing issues such the high number of unemployed youth who are qualifying from the country’s educational institutions and resettlement of the IDPs.

The trade union boss said: “But when you see those people in the line of leaders they are all ‘McCains’; they are not people who can inspire a society to realise a meaningful change in terms of improved economy or eliminate corruption.”

“I have yet to see somebody who will implant a sense of direction both in and outside parliament; I am yet to see somebody who is issue-oriented as a leader who is a self devotee on serving Kenyans tirelessly.”

Justice, Constitutional and National Cohesion Minister Martha Karua and Lands Assistant Minister Bifwoli Wakoli have openly declared that they will be running for the top seat in 2012.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Ministers William Ruto, George Saitoti are also said to be positioning themselves for the presidency.

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Meanwhile, the COTU Secretary General called for the quick implementation of the presidential directive for the reduction of electricity levies.

Mr Atwoli said the move by President Kibaki would help to safeguard the number of industries which had threatened to relocate operations to other countries citing high production costs.

He added that lowering the cost of electricity would effectively lead to a drop in prices of consumer goods that have severely affected low and middle-income households.

“For food and fuel to be at manageable levels and spur economic growth, electricity must be affordable,” he said.

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