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Atwoli comes to the defense of judiciary

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.
Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli.

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU-K) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has come to the defense of embattled judiciary by the Executive and the Legislature noting that the war of words was not auguring well for the nation.

Atwoli, who said that the union fully supported the war on graft, said that he was seeking an audience with the President in the wake of allegations of graft in the judiciary.

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This comes a day after Chief Justice Martha Koome warned that the onslaught against the judiciary by the two arms of the government was a recipe for chaos.

In the last couple of weeks, the President and his cronies have trained their guns on the judiciary accusing some judges of graft while issuing court orders that were affecting capital projects.

Atwoli termed the onslaught as unhealthy in a country that believed in the rule of law adding that no affiliate union of COTU had complained of graft in the judiciary.

He pointed out at the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) noting that COTU had never received any complaints about the judges.

“Judges at the Employment and Labour Relations Courts have heard and determined many cases regarding labor and we have not heard any complaint about them,” he said.

The outspoken unionist said that he would be seeking an audience with the president so that they would discuss the issue deeper and seek the way forward.

“We fully support the war on graft and corrupt individuals are everywhere including parliament and the Executive and we should not just fight the judiciary,” he said.

Atwoli called for investigations into a massive graft at JKIA where workers were openly collecting bribes from visitors to allow them pass with their uninspected luggage.

He was speaking in Lake Naivasha Resort during the opening ceremony of the International Labor Standards Training for ELRC judges and registrars workshop.

“We have prepared a policy document on the challenges facing the country’s workforce due to the harsh economic times and we shall share it with the President for action,” he said.

The CS for Labor Florence Bore who was the Chief Guest shied from the graft debate instead calling for operationalising of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism (ADR).

She said that her Ministry was in the forefront of ensuring safe, orderly and regular labor migrations so as to protect migrant workers and members of their families.

“With the challenges faced by the migrant workers, this training comes in handy as our judges will gain knowledge on various International Labour Standards,” she said.

Antony Gitonga
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