The Secretary General for the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Francis Atwoli has finally spoken after a road signboard named after him was burnt.
In a response he shared on his Twitter handle, the veteran trade unionist said those behind the illegal act will be haunted forever.
“Bringing down honorary road signage under my name doesn’t hurt me. On the flip side, it will haunt for life, those who are behind it. For how does it benefit them? How do you sleep at night know you are a vandal?” he posed.
According to Atwoli, he has achieved a lot as a workers’ defender across the globe and the naming of the signage after him was a recognition of his good work.
He adds that he is a household name and nobody needs road signage to know his rich legacy as a trade unionist.
“My name is all over the world and one doesn’t require street signage for the, to know who Francis Atwoli. The name will live in posterity taking into account my years of selfless service to the workers in Kenya and the world,” Atwoli further said.
“If anything, the signage was just an act of honour bestowed to me by Nairobians taking into account my many years of service,” he added.
Images seen by K24 Digital, on Tuesday morning, showed the signboard up in flames after unknown people used car tyres to set it ablaze.
It was apparently burnt down at night since it was still up by end of business on Monday.
The signage, which was reinstated barely a fortnight ago after it was brought down, has been at the centre of controversy.
A section of Kenyans on social media argued that the COTU boss has done nothing for workers he represents to warrant a road named after him.
Among those who wanted the signboard brought down is City Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi. He rooted for its removal to an extent of promising to foot legal expenses of activist Boniface Mwangi if brings it down and gets arrested.
After the signage was burnt, Lawyer Ahmednasir took to Twitter and wrote: “Vandalism or the natural reaction of citizenry taken for granted by the political elites?”
Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi on his part wrote; “Francis Atwoli finally learns that there are Kenyans with low tolerance levels to mediocrity…”
ODM's Director of Communication, on the other hand, disagreed with those who celebrated the burning of the signboard.
"...No matter what you do, you will never change who Atwoli is. Where he has reached, it will take you another century to reach," Etale tweeted.
The road formerly known as DikDik Road was renamed Francis Atwoli road on Thursday, May 27.
The road sign was unveiled in the presence of Nairobi Deputy Governor Ann Kananu and other leaders.