The rivalry between President William Ruto and COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli appears to be over.
In the run-up to the August 9, elections, Ruto referred to the trade unionist as a ‘stupid man’ for moving to court to oppose proposed reviews made by the government on contributions Kenyans make towards NSSF.
“So we changed the regulations but we were taken to court by a stupid man called Atwoli…I have no regret to say he is a stupid man because he is a very foolish person,” William Ruto said.
However, on Tuesday, November 1, Atwoli confirmed that COTU had withdrawn the case opposing the increment in NSSF contributions.
“We would like to make it clear that COTU-Kenya does not have any active case against NSSF,” Atwoli said.
Atwoli instead backed President William Ruto’s proposal to increase the NSSF monthly deductions from the current KSh 200 to 6 percent of the total gross earnings of an employer.
“We fully support the increment in NSSF deductions from the current KSh200 to the 6 percent rate as captured in the NSSF Act,” he said.
In a statement, the firebrand unionist said an increase in NSSF deductions would cushion employed Kenyans against poverty at old age.
“A worker who has worked for 30 years being deducted KSh 200 takes home KSh 144,000 upon retirement. But if such a worker earning KSh 50,000 per month is deducted the 6%, he will take home KSh 1.2 million upon retirement, free from poverty,” Atwoli said.
The flamboyant unionist who was a fierce critic of Ruto during the campaign period had sensationally claimed that the Head of State was pushing for the increase in NSSF contributions to create an avenue for looting Kenyans’ money.
“William Ruto is angry because I stopped him from stealing at NSSF. He calls me names when he is in London, telling the whole world that Atwoli is the most stupid person… It is better to be stupid than be known as a thief,” Atwoli said.