Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has come out to castigate COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli’s remarks on Monday about the DP’s reaction to election defeat.
Atwoli, speaking in Changamwe in Mombasa during the launch of the nationwide Universal Health Coverage program, said that the Azimio La Umoja camp was sure to win the State House race, claiming that DP Ruto might resort to suicide upon defeat.
“Wale wako karibu na William Samoei Ruto kule sehemu za Sugoi wakate miti isiwe karibu kwa ajili tarehe 9 usiku, kura itatangazwa na huyo mtoto atajinyonga, wakate miti!” Atwoli said.
DP Ruto’s Presidential Campaign team through a statement issued on Tuesday decried the remarks as dehumanizing and distasteful attempts at humor, saying that suicide is a serious issue affecting Kenyans.
“… to use suicide as humor in electioneering, at a national health function attended by the Health Cabinet Secretary and presided by the Head of State and consequently finding it funny, is a demonstration of just how far these elite are from the realities and struggles of the Kenyan Hustler,” read the statement.
“The contempt and Thadharau’ in it, is mind boggling.”
It added: “The Kenyan government through the DCI has decried the increasing number of suicide cases in the country. 483 cases were recorded between the months of April and June 2021.
“A KNCHR report further linked the rise in cases to mental illness caused by a breakdown of socio-economic safeguards.
“We understand our competitors cannot comprehend this, because theirs is a coalition of the elite to maintain the privilege they enjoy at the expense of ordinary Kenyans.”
While dismissing Atwoli as an ‘ancient campaign expert’, the team stated that winning or losing elections is not ‘a matter of life and death’, further accusing the Raila Odinga-led camp of using such utterances to trigger emotions towards violence.
“(The remarks) are completely unnecessary and go against the tenets of democracy. For Kenyans inflicted with violence and death including in the context of elections, this is not a laughing matter,” added the statement.