Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has confirmed that he is married to KTN news anchor Mary Kilobi.
Mr Atwoli says he is “stupid lover”, who commits to a relationship without philandering.
Until his confirmation on Wednesday on Citizen Television’s Jeff Koinange Live show, the COTU boss hadn’t spoken about the allegation, which first surfaced on blogs before being published later by Standard Group-owned weekly newspaper, The Nairobian .
“She [Mary Kilobi] is my wife. She is my second wife, who is taking care of me,” Mr Atwoli told Jeff Koinange.
“I met her 13 years ago, when she was on internship at the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation and I had gone on official duties in Uganda. She was 21-years-old at the time, and a student at the Makerere University,” said Mr Atwoli.
“I [instantly developed a soft spot for her], and told her: ‘I would marry you; even if it takes me a thousand years. Mature up, and I would marry you’.”
Mr Atwoli describes Ms Kilobi as an “all-rounded woman” who is “very caring”.
The COTU chief, 69, also denied claims that he snatched Mary Kilobi, 34, from a Bungoma businessman, Jack Wanami Wamboka, who was claiming online that Mr Atwoli “broke my marriage”.
“Her [Ms Kilobi’s] parents said no one had paid bride price for their daughter. Before I marry a woman, I send emissaries to confirm if she is someone else’s wife. That process [of ascertaining Mary Kilobi’s marital status] was done; and I was given the green light to marry her after it was established that she was single at the time,” said Mr Atwoli.
Ms Kilobi, in the Nairobian interview, said she doesn’t care about the 35-year age gap between her and the COTU boss because she came to learn that “age shouldn’t be a determining factor when choosing to settle down with a man”.
The journalist says: “I love Atwoli. He is a caring man, who is always there for me. Given another chance, I will still fall in love with him.”
Ms Kilobi says another key attribute which attracted her to Mr Atwoli, is his God-fearing nature.
“I have never come across a man, who loves and fears God like him [Atwoli],” she told The Nairobian.
A cheeky question was posed to Mr Atwoli on JKL on whether he has the stamina to intimately sustain Ms Kilobi, who is nearly four decades his junior.
Mr Atwoli replied: “Ninaweza kazi mbaya sana [I have the energy to go about intimacy with her].”
Ms Kilobi, according to Mr Atwoli, is now his second wife, after he “released” the initial second wife “to go pursue politics”.
“I asked my second wife not to involve herself with politics, but she chose that path. The reason I was asking her not to pursue politics was because I needed somebody to take care of me, and since she joined politics [against my wish], I married Mary so that she attends to me,” said Mr Atwoli.
The COTU chief says despite marrying Ms Kilobi, he still values and respects his first wife.
Asked whether he would add another wife after Ms Kilobi, he said: “No”.