Generation Z rejects Ruto-Raila multi-sectoral dialogue

Generation Z rejects Ruto-Raila multi-sectoral dialogue

Return to sender: Generation Z rejects Ruto-Raila multi-sectoral dialogue

The youth have rejected President William Ruto’s decision to co-opt political actors into a multi-sectoral dialogue meant to address issues raised by Generation Z following the group’s protests.

The latest development comes after the President and Azimio leader Raila Odinga announced yesterday that they had agreed on a far-reaching political deal to chart a path forward from the current situation facing the country.

However, the involvement of political actors in the six-day dialogue forum sparked a backlash from various youth groups who accused the political class of hijacking their movement.

In a concise but forceful statement on Tuesday, the youth accused the former prime minister of trying to hijack their movement by siding with their oppressors.

The youth said that it would not be business as usual, because they are ready to drain the swamp and nothing will silence them.

“Dear Raila Odinga, your decision today to stand with our oppressors has validated our choice not to involve you in our protests from the beginning,” the statement read in part.

“We will not allow you to hijack our movement to satisfy your political greed. You do not speak for us and today you have shown that you support thieves and killers. We will not be silent. We will drain the swamp with you. This is not business as usual,” the statement added.

Gen Z said that in recent weeks they have fought for their rights, on the streets and online, and paid the price with dozens of kidnappings, torture and murders.

“It’s not for nothing. We will not engage in dialogue with our oppressors. We want change and we want it now.”

President Ruto said the six-day forum, which will run from July 15 to 20, 2024, will suggest a way forward for the country.

“This is the result of the consultations we conducted this morning and we look forward to starting the forum next Monday,” said the head of state.

Mr Odinga added that the decision to agree to dialogue followed extensive consultations with the President.

“We agreed that dialogue is the way out of the current crisis in our country. We agreed to give citizens the opportunity to make their voices heard in order to find a lasting solution. We want this to be an engaging conversation on how to address the fundamental issues affecting our society today,” the ODM party leader said.

The Azimio leader said that dialogue is the only way the government can take the country out of the crisis.

He said the country was ready to hear the grievances that Generation Z has raised in recent days.

“We have to start by identifying these problems and then find solutions to these problems. We believe this forum will help us move forward,” Odinga said.

Mr Odinga also said that unemployment, corruption, debt and economic management are among the issues that will be discussed at the forum.

For his part, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said the country is at a crossroads and it is impossible to erase the Generation Z revolution.

“A lot of Kenyans wanted us to open the space for dialogue but it is now being done by Generation Z. If we are not careful, we will all be thrown out by Generation Z because they say they have reached adulthood and they are no longer the leaders of tomorrow,” Mr Musyoka said.

According to the President, the panel will consist of 150 members representing various stakeholders, 50 of whom will be youth.

The remaining 100 places will represent other sectors, including the religious community, civil society, professional groups and political parties.

The President said the forum was mandated to formulate a proposal on the way forward for the country.

However, another statement from Gen Z and Millennials, without a leader, indicates that young people are no longer satisfied with simple dialogue or promises, but want immediate and concrete actions.

The group said it was frustrated and disappointed with the current situation in the country as its concerns were met with indifference.

“We represent a generation that values ​​results over rhetoric. Our position is clear: we are leaderless, partyless, and tribeless. Our allegiance is to the future of this nation, and we demand that our voices be heard and our concerns addressed with the urgency they deserve,” the statement read.