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Assess the state of the country, we are at crossroads - Kalonzo’s plea to Ruto

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"Mr. President, I want to urge that we look at our country afresh. There is no way you can wish the Gen Z revolution away. They are carrying the Kenyan national flag for us," he urged.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has urged President William Ruto to reassess the state of the country and find ways to address the issues raised by youthful protesters and reduce the tensions.

Speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) during the signing of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024, into law on Tuesday, Kalonzo urged Ruto to listen to the concerns of Gen Z.

"Mr. President, I want to urge that we look at our country afresh. There is no way you can wish the Gen Z revolution away. They are carrying the Kenyan national flag for us," he urged.

Emphasising that the youths have valid concerns on matters touching on the cost of living and their day-to-day lives, the Wiper leader insisted that if the current leaders are not careful, Generation Z will remove them from power.

"If we are not careful, all of us will be thrown out by Gen Z because they say they have come of age. You say we are leaders of tomorrow, but we are leaders of now. We can't wish them away," Kalonzo warned.

He explained that the high cost of living being protested against by the youth was also among the issues raised by the opposition during its demonstrations, culminating in dialogue, which birthed the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO).

After the disputed 2022 General Election, Azimio, under the leadership of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, organised nationwide demos to pressure the government into addressing its grievances. The Kenya Kwanza leadership led by Ruto and the opposition under Azimio sealed a truce and agreed to form a bipartisan committee to strike an equilibrium.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses the media after witnessing President William Ruto sign the IEBC Amendment Bill 2024 into law at KICC, Nairobi, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Photo: PCS)

Among the issues discussed were the cost of living and the reconstruction of the IEBC, which led to the drafting, passing, and assent of the IEBC (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

However, Kalonzo highlighted that the Kenya Kwanza team convinced the Azimio side that the cost of living was a government responsibility, and both parties agreed to strike it out of the talks. Ruto stated that he was working on uplifting the economy and lowering the cost of living through increasing food security. He has constantly highlighted the reduction of unga prices to Sh100 and that of fertilisers from Sh3,500 to Sh2,500, among the changes.

Nonetheless, despite the measures put in place, the youth still took to the streets to protest the high cost of living, corruption, and unemployment, forcing Ruto to deploy both the military and police to restore sanity.

In order to bring the country back to normalcy, Kalonzo urged President Ruto to order the removal of the security forces from the streets. He also called on the Head of State to order Inspector General of Police Japeth Koome to resign.

"Japeth Koome should resign and take responsibility for the deaths of the 42 young Kenyans who lost their lives because they were exercising their constitutional rights to peacefully assemble, demonstrate and picket. Mr President, the Army should be ordered off our streets and sent back to the barracks," Kalonzo stated.

Last week, a section of opposition leaders also called on IG Koome to resign with immediate effect following the killing of protesters in the country.

The leaders drawn from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition accused President William Ruto's administration of using excessive force against protesters, leading to deaths. The climax of the protests also saw demonstrators breach parliament and threaten to confront Ruto at State House.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses the media after witnessing President William Ruto sign the IEBC Amendment Bill 2024 into law at KICC, Nairobi on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Photo: PCS)Azimio principal and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses the media after witnessing President William Ruto sign the IEBC Amendment Bill 2024 into law at KICC, Nairobi, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Photo: PCS)

After holding three major protests countrywide, President Ruto refused to assent to the Finance Bill and pledged to implement austerity measures to reduce government spending.

Meanwhile, Raila and Kalonzo joined President William Ruto as he assented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Bill. The ceremony was held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), a move from the previous exercises held at State House.

The Bill is one of the key implementations proposed by the National Dialogue Committee talks. Also present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Attorney General Justin Muturi, among other senior state officers.

From the opposition, Raila was accompanied by National Assembly minority leader Opiyo Wandayi, and ODM deputy party leaders Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya.

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