Why President Ruto may not succeed in having meaningful engagement with Gen-Z

Why President Ruto may not succeed in having meaningful engagement with Gen-Z

Chances of President William Ruto succeeding in having a meaningful engagement with Gen-Z are minimal since this group of Kenyans are leaderless. 

The fact that Gen-Z are leaderless, tribeless and fearless, may complicate plans for a meaningful dialogue with the Head of State in attempting to address their concerns.

This is because the President may need to dialogue with representatives of Gen- Z, something that has been opposed by the youth.

The youth do not want to appoint their representatives because they fear that they might be compromised and nothing shall be achieved at the end of the day.

At the same time, President Ruto confessed to the young digital representatives at State House on Sunday June 30, 2024 evening that he finds it hard to bring youths together and engage with them to address their grievances because they are leaderless and tribeless.

“It is not in my place to identify leaders for Gen Z. It becomes very difficult if I do not know who to deal with,” Ruto said.

“If you do not want to identify your leaders, tell me how else you want us to talk,” he added.

Meanwhile, Gen-Z protests have taken a new twist after President William Ruto invited the youth for a dialogue to address their issues during a media roundtable at State House on Sunday evening.

The Protests continued on Tuesday July 2, across the country with fresh demands despite the withdrawal of the controversial Finance Bill on June 26, which was their initial demand.

According to the protesters, they are picketing against corruption, poor governance, and unfulfilled promises by the Kenya Kwanza government.

“It is a rebellion that is not led by cynical politicians, and with no identifiable leaders who can easily be isolated, intimidated, bribed, or co-opted. 

“It is organized through the public square of contemporary youth communication and engagement, social media, that cannot be easily manipulated,” said Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, a Malawian historian and blogger.

However, President Ruto said that he is open for a dialogue with the young people on a forum they are comfortable with and vowed to join X Space if invited to talk with them.

“I am hearing the people are saying we do not want a multisectoral forum, maybe we should have an engagement with the President on X. I am open to having an engagement with the young people on a forum they are comfortable with,” President Ruto said.

“If they want me to engage with them on X, I will be there. I want to discuss taxation, I want us to discuss unemployment, corruption, all issues,” he added.

The Executive Director of Haki Africa, Hussein Khalid, in an interview with Deutsche Welle—the German public state-owned broadcaster, stated that the voice of the youth should be heard and their grievances should not be addressed in the parliament as it has been the tradition.

“I believe youth from every corner of the country will get opportunities to be heard and there are many ways to get opinions of the youth. 

“We could have County dialogue forums, Sectoral youth dialogue forums but what is important is that the voice of youth must be heard, and never again should we allow our country to go back to a parliament debate or discussion,” Khalid said.

It is clear that young people do not trust President Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza government and other elected leaders, thus crippling the dialogue process.

Written by Boyd Brian

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