By Daniel Psirmoi
Nairobi, Kenya: Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli has asked the government to bring to book those behind the murder of Kabete MP George Muchai, who was also his former deputy at the giant trade union. The lawmaker, together with his two body guards and driver were early Saturday morning shot dead by an unknown assailant at Kenyatta Avenue-Uhuru Highway roundabout in Nairobi . They were in a Toyota Fortuner vehicle when a masked gunman shot them at close range at about 2.30am. They all died on their seats save for one bodyguard, who seemed to have passed on as he tried to step out. Atwoli, who was speaking at a press conference at the union’s headquarters Saturday, said it is important that thorough investigations are carried out to unearth those behind the gruesome murder of the legislator, adding that this was the second time the MP was being attacked. The COTU boss paid a glowing tribute to the MP, referring to him as a ‘bold man’ and a champion for social justice. See also: President Uhuru, Ruto mourn Kabete MP George Muchai He said it’s important that a thorough probe is carried out to allay speculations surrounding the murder of the first time MP. “We want police to move with speed to allay the rumours that might be in the hearts or minds of Kenyans. This was the second attempt on his life. In 2012, he was accosted by a gunman at the gate of his Kamulu home, but he managed to gun him down. We asked the then police commissioner Mathew Iteere to investigate but nothing was done. It is sad that we lost him this time. We want thorough investigations conducted,” said Atwoli. Atwoli and the deceased MP have been at loggerheads in the recent past and the COTU boss in October last year moved to Court seeking compensation for alleged defamation. Atwoli accused the Kabete MP of alleging that he was a ‘medicine man’ and that he had misappropriated over Sh7 million COTU funds. But at the press briefing, Atwoli insisted that theirs were ordinary differences. “Although we had minor differences, which are normal in trade unions all over the world, our differences were purely ideological and based on issues at hand and completely devoid of witch hunt or malice. He remained a great friend and a colleague,” said Atwoli. He added that he has known the MP in person for many years and that the union supported him during his campaign for the Kabete parliamentary seat in the last polls.
“We grew up together in Nairobi and I have known him personally for more than 50 years. We have worked closely in the labour movement for over two decades, until recently when the COTU executive board decided to suspend him,” revealed Atwoli “It is so sad that Muchai can lose his life at a prime age when the people of Kabete and Kenyan workers need his services. We condole with his family and constituents and we shall support them during this difficult period”, he said.