Kenya: Don’t Torch Kenya

Nairobi — “My sons and daughters, we have a country to keep; it is the only home we have,” President William Ruto passionately urged the young generation ahead of another round of peaceful protests set for Tuesday.

Now entering its third week, the protests were sparked by the passage of the Finance Bill 2024, which the National Assembly passed in June. However, President Ruto, bowing to increasing pressure, withdrew the bill.

The withdrawal came in response to mounting unrest that has resulted in loss of life and widespread destruction across the country.

Despite the withdrawal, the youth also referred to as Generation Z, have vowed to continue protesting until they see tangible actions.

But speaking during a joint media interview with digital writers on Sunday, President Ruto urged the youth to seek alternative ways to express their grievances and to embrace dialogue.

“I value what you do, I have heard what you have said, I have seen what you have done and you have made recommendations, some I will outrightly implement,” he said adding “I have a very clear plan to address your issues.”

Attributing the escalating tension in the country to “a misunderstanding and miscommunication,” President Ruto vowed to “address some of the issues you have raised.”

He regretted that “I am partly to blame” and committed to doing better by opening room for dialogue and talking to each other with the view of betting the country’s fortunes.

“You have given me some difficult choices, I will suggest to you on how we can go about them together. But I want to promise you that in the engagement that we are going to have I will be thoroughly clear and I want you to be equally clear on what you think,” he said.

President Ruto, amidst the attention-grabbing protests, affirmed his unwavering dedication to transforming Kenya for the better by the end of his five-year term.

“Sometimes I sleep late thinking about our nation’s young people, and that is why I am pushing for the programs that I believe will put jobs on the way for many young people,” he said.

President Ruto has since extended an invitation for dialogue with the youth, pledging to consider their concerns and swiftly act on those within his grasp.