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Gen Z Rejects Raila Odinga’s Call for National Dialogue, Sparks Outrage on Social Media

Gen Z Rejects Raila Odinga’s Call for National Dialogue, Sparks Outrage on Social Media

Azimio leader Raila Odinga is facing backlash from Gen Z on social media for supporting national dialogue under the National Multi-Sectoral Forum, which they have refused to join.

Raila and President William Ruto announced on Tuesday that the talks would start on Monday, July 15, and run for six days until Saturday, July 20.

The forum will include 150 multi-sectoral stakeholders to engage the youth.

“I’m happy to confirm that we had consultations and agreed that dialogue is the way forward out of the crisis that we are facing in the country,” Raila said at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, accompanied by Ruto, DP Rigathi Gachagua, and other leaders from both government and the Opposition, including Kalonzo Musyoka.

“We have agreed to give people an opportunity to be heard, express themselves, and address the grievances in our country today.”

Ruto announced the formation of the NMSF on June 26 after weeks of Gen Z-led protests demanding the withdrawal of the Finance Bill, 2024.

The youth declined to participate in the talks, insisting the President address them on a platform they prefer.

On Friday, July 5, the President agreed to be hosted on X Space, where he faced questions from angry Gen Zs who accused him of ignoring their complaints.

“I have realized I need to listen more and show more empathy. My administration needs more empathy, and I have heard your call for more action,” Ruto said in his closing remarks.

On Tuesday morning, Raila, who the youth had asked to stay out of the spotlight as they demanded better governance from Ruto’s administration through mass action, appeared at the KICC for the signing of the IEBC Amendment Bill, 2024.

His statement, “we had consultations and agreed that dialogue is the way forward,” at the convention center sparked outrage from Gen Z on social media, who quickly rejected his stance.

They declared they are without tribal, party, or leader affiliations, and none of the political class represents them.

“Who is ‘we’? They asked.

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“We told Raila Odinga to step aside and let us handle our issues. We will not engage in dialogue with President William Ruto. We know how it ends, and Baba is proof that dialogue never works,” one stated.

“Raila, if you proceed with the dialogue, please do not involve us. Discuss your private matters. You do not speak for us,” said another.

“I will never remain silent until these guys either change or leave. Fail with your dialogue and go home, Raila. Who is ‘We’? One questioned.

“We are the people. It’s us versus the politicians now,” he added.

Another X user, rejecting the dialogue, pointed out that the country has held dialogues since the 2007 disputed elections, with no tangible results.

He added that the current crisis cannot be solved through mere boardroom talks.

“If Raila decides to dialogue with Ruto, they can discuss their matters privately. Dialogue won’t solve the national debt or post the medical interns,” he said.

Intern doctors have been camping at the Ministry of Health headquarters since Monday, demanding payment and deployment.

The Ministry of Health and the doctors’ union have failed to agree on the posting of 1,210 interns.

Activist Boniface Mwangi advised the medics to emulate renowned activist and current Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah by occupying the MoH offices on Wednesday to meet their demands.

“He used to take over offices, not just the gate. Gather the 1000 doctors, and we will join you to peacefully take over Mafya House. Do not sleep on the streets,” he said on X.

Regarding Raila joining talks with the government, Mwangi called for the rejection of “handshake politics,” saying they are never in the interest of ordinary Kenyans.

“Handshake politics is why Kenya hasn’t progressed. The only document we need implemented is our Constitution in its entirety. These boardroom deals help no one but the political class. We refuse to be manipulated,” he said.

Mwangi added that the old generation of politicians feels threatened by the Gen Z movement and is uniting by speaking a common language.

“Now we know the enemies of progress and those who want to kill the vision of a new Kenya. Watch them play us, but don’t let them succeed,” he said.

“Gen Zs and Millennials are now taking decisive action. They won’t believe it!” added another X user.

Even some of Raila’s allies, like Martha Karua, have criticized the upcoming talks, calling them a trap.

“Dialogue can only be meaningful if the players act in good faith and are guided by the best interests of the people. This is a trap, period,” Karua said in a statement.

Gen Z Rejects Raila Odinga’s Call for National Dialogue, Sparks Outrage on Social Media

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