NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 11 – The Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has hit back at National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale over his remarks seeking to eject him from the National Social Security Fund Board.
Atwoli termed Duale’s remarks as erroneous and misleading.
“It is regrettable that Duale has opted to rely on hearsays and innuendos in his discharge of duties.”
“It is even more dangerous that he is the person charged with the responsibility to answer questions in Parliament,” he stated.
During the Cabinet nominees vetting on Friday, Duale asked Ukur Yattani to confirm if he will drop Federation of Kenya Employees Executive-Director Jacqueline Mugo and Atwoli from the Board for serving more than two terms of three years.
The firebrand trade unionist said he and Mugo are serving their first term according to the new NSSF Act which came into effect in 2013 and remain eligible for re-appointment for a second term in order to serve their two full terms.
During President Kenyatta’s first term, his then Labour CS Kazungu Kambi unsuccessfully attempted to kick out Atwoli and Mugo, saying they had been members of the board for more than 10 years despite the law requiring trustees to be in office for three year terms.
Kambi further claimed he was removing the workers’ and employers’ representatives from the NSSF Board of Trustees citing provisions that allowed him to do so over missed meetings and being unfit for the positions.
Atwoli and Mugo were reinstated after the High Court revoked a legal notice.
The COTU Secretary-General moved to court to challenge his removal from the Board which he attributed to his fight against corruption within NSSF and cited his move to expose the racket behind the Sh5 billion Tassia project.
NSSF, which manages some Sh156 billion in assets, is in the process of pushing through changes that will see annual contributions from members to rise to Sh118 billion from the current Sh8 billion.