Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary general Francis Atwoli sometimes back sparked controversy after he dismissed family planning, saying parents need to get as many children as they want as they are bound to be left by their kids whether they are male or female. Having many children will thus ensure they do not get disadvantaged early in life.
“Family planning for what? You get a boy and a girl. The boy child will smoke bhang while the girl child will be married…who will you remain with?” he posed at a function in July this year.
Now, Atwoli is advocating for polygamy, saying that is the only way the number of single women in the world can be minimised.
“The world over, there are more women than men (about 65 percent). If we don’t marry many wives, who will marry our daughters? I am encouraging my sons to marry more than three wives so that we can reduce the population of unmarried women. It’s a taboo in our community to bury our daughters where they were born, they must be married somewhere,” he told The Standard’s Grace Wekesa in a wide-ranging interview.
Atwoli, who has two wives, has previously declined to give the number of his children. Among the Luhya people, it is taboo to give one’s exact number of children.
At the same time, some Luhya men do not describe the number of women they are having affairs with for fear of being harmed or eliminated.
Kakamega Senator Bonni Khalwale, Atwoli and former Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala are, however, an exception.
“I know a number of my colleagues who are living a lie. It is a sign of direspect to cohabit with someone under one roof, have children and still face the cameras and deny they even exist, only for them to crop up during burial to fight for property,” Khalwale told The Standard in a past interview .