Trade unionist Francis Atwoli’s second wife Roselinda Simiyu has poured her heart out saying she has chosen to speak out after the COTU boss decided to lie on why he married a younger woman- KTN Journalist Mary Kilobi.
Ms Simiyu, 53, said she met and married Atwoli who was 47 when she was 30 years old and they lived in Kariobangi.
She revealed how Atwoli was broke and did not reveal to her that he was married but instead told her he was a divorcée, she claims.
“I met Francis in 1996 when I was a chairperson at the Kenya Union of Sugar Plantation Workers. He was 47 years but never told me he was married, instead he said he was divorced,” Roselinda told a local radio station.
She further denied claims that Atwoli left her because she wanted to join politics and insisted that even when they started their affair, she told him that she would one day join politics, which he agreed to.
“I told him I wanted to make change. I loved helping people and I wanted to do politics, general politics. I grew up seeing people being oppressed. He agreed and promised to support me in politics. When he was contesting for a political seat for the first time, as the wife I supported him even financially with the money I had saved to buy myself a car.”
Roselinda said that the marital hiccups started in 2015.
But it was not always like that, she says, recalling a ‘prince charming’ Atwoli whom she met and married 22 years ago while a single mother of three. They later bore two children.
“He (Atwoli) abandoned us in 2016 when I allowed my eldest daughter to take aviation studies in South Africa. He wanted her to come back but she was not yet through with education. As any mother would wish for their child, I stood my grounds that she had to finish what she had started. That was why Atwoli became annoyed and stopped providing for us,” she says.
“I had never talked about him not providing or abandoning us until recently when he came to to speak about our marriage on national TV declaring that he left me because I wanted to join politics. Even when he left me, I tried to mediate our relationship by calling Eliud Wabukala who tried to look for him and talk to him but he refused.”
Atwoli had in an interview said that he married again because he was lonely but Roselinda claimed it was something he had made his mind up for.
“If he was lonely, it was by his own choice because he was not coming home, not receiving calls nor did he want to send me money for the children. He was only supposed to pay school fees but he did not provide the basic needs. I had to sell my shamba for my daughter to complete her studies in South Africa,” she said yesterday.
She admitted that he pays school fees for the children but does not provide for their upkeep.
“I want him to remember how I supported him during those times when he had nothing, when he wanted to be the Central Organization Of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss. I used to cook for the delegates without anyone to help me but he has forgotten all that. I miss him because we lived together for 22 years and it was a good marriage. We were so free and happy together, joked about everything and we had a good life and he was a good husband and a dad.”
She added : “He does not provide for my children and I and recently he came and disconnected the power and we are now living in darkness apart from the solar we are using.”
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