Vandals set fire on the sign of a road named after Central Organisation of Trade Unions boss Francis Atwoli in Nairobi’s upmarket estate, Kileleshwa.
The Monday, June 14, night act followed a series of heavy criticism from Atwoli’s critics led by activist Boniface Mwangi and lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi since the sign was erected.
It comes hours after Atwoli made history after being reelected for a record-foruth time to the International Labour Organisation governing council for another four years.
The COTU boss has responded to the action, terming it useless and does nothing to dent his name which he haw worked hard to make it global.
he said those who burnt down the signage will be haunted. “The name (Fransis Atwoli) will live in posterity bearing in mind my many years of service to thwe workers of Kenya and the World,” he said.
Formerly Mandera road, the road was renamed to Francis Atwoli road by Nairobi County government on May 28.
Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu then described the act as a recognition of Atwoli’s selfless contribution in agitating for worker’s rights.
“The road has been renamed after Francis Atwoli in recognition of his selfless contribution in agitating for the rights of Kenyan workers in the last 54 years.
But this sentiment seemed not to go well with critics of the combative and outspoken trade unionist who also plays a role in Kenya’s political space.
The sign was immediately pulled down the night it was erected, prompting Atwoli and the county government to erect it once more, only this time reinforcing it with concrete and placing a guard to man it against vandals.
“The Nairobi County Government has reinstalled the sign. If you think you came from the moon go try to remove it again. Also, a CCTV has been installed for the security of the area,” Atwoli said on May 30.
On June 3, an attempt to bring down the sign fell flat after police were deployed to guard it against the move organised by activist Boniface Mwangi who later protested.
“Police and goons have shown up to protect Francis Atwoli’s illegal sign. Atwoli is going all out to protect the only thing in his life he has ever had up,” said Boniface Mwangi.