Start talk­ing, Cotu tells Uhuru and Raila

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY COLLINS OMULO

The Cen­tral Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Trade Unions has called for di­a­logue between the two sides of the po­lit­i­cal di­vide.

Cotu Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Fran­cis At­woli (be­low) urged Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga to be­gin ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Mr At­woli, Cotu ex­ec­u­tive board mem­bers and sec­re­taries of af­fil­i­ate unions asked lead­ers to guar­an­tee sta­bil­ity.

“We ap­peal to play­ers in our po­lit­i­cal scene to see sense in di­a­logue, bear­ing in mind that Kenya is big­ger than the two coali­tions,’’ Mr At­woli said at Sol­i­dar­ity Build­ing af­ter a meet­ing of 44 Cotu af­fil­i­ates.

“They must un­der­stand that Kenya has to sur­vive and it is only through po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity that the se­cu­rity of ev­ery­one and their prop­erty will be guar­an­teed,” he said.

“We are in the last stages of civil strife. Let us learn from the 2007/8 ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

Catholic bish­ops also said they were will­ing to steer na­tional di­a­logue.

“Be­cause of the grav­ity of the cri­sis the coun­try is in, we have cho­sen to con­vene, fa­cil­i­tate and me­di­ate high level talks on re­solv­ing the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis,” the bish­ops said in a state­ment.

Cotu said the po­lit­i­cal stale­mate had badly af­fected the econ­omy.

Mr At­woli said work­ers were los­ing jobs, with cru­cial sec­tors such as en­ergy, health, man­u­fac­tur­ing and ex­port be­ing the most hit.

“The pub­lic­ity our coun­try is get­ting lo­cally and abroad has af­fected the way busi­ness is con­ducted. Ho­tel book­ings have been can­celled and about 10,000 jobs are in jeop­ardy,’’ Mr At­woli said.

He pro­posed names of “em­i­nent” Kenyans to lead the talks.

They in­cluded sen­a­tors Yusuf Haji and Amos Wako, for­mer sen­a­tors Zip­po­rah Kit­tony and David Musila, for­mer MPS Jam­leck Ka­mau, Oburu Oginga and Phoebe Asiyo as well as for­mer min­is­ter Philip Masinde.

Oth­ers Mr Abra­ham Kip­tanui, Mr Has­san Ole Kamwaro and busi­ness and in­dus­tri­al­ist Chris Kirubi.

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