Ruto announces a 6-day multi-sectoral forum to discuss issues affecting Kenya

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Ruto said that the 150-person forum, which will start on Monday, July 15, 2024, will include representatives from various stakeholders.

In an effort to unite the country after a series of anti-government protests, President William Ruto has announced a six-day multi-sectoral forum to address issues affecting Kenya.

Ruto said on Tuesday that the 150-person forum, which will start on Monday, July 15, 2024, will include representatives from various stakeholders.

"This will be a six-day forum and will propose the way forward for the country. In the interest of living within our means, all participants will bear their own costs of attendance," Ruto stated while addressing the media at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The Head of State called on representatives from various sectors of the country, including religious groups, civil societies, political parties, and even professional groups, to submit their recommendations.

Backing the President's move, Azimio La Umoja coalition leader Raila Odinga said he approved the formation of the multi-sectoral forum following a consultative meeting with the Head of State.

The ODM Party leader stressed that the forum will help address the contentious issues raised by Kenyans, especially the youth, during the recent anti-government demonstrations.

As a result, Raila called on Kenyans from different sectors, including the youth, to utilise the opportunity and raise their grievances for a lasting solution to be found.

"I can confirm that we have had consultations and after the consultations, we have agreed that a dialogue is the way forward out of the crisis that we have had as a country," he said

"We have agreed to give people an opportunity to be heard, express themselves, and come out with the grievances that are ailing our country today so that a lasting solution can be found," Raila added.

Earlier, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka had urged the president to relook at the situation in the country and find ways to de-escalate the tension. Kalonzo urged Ruto to listen to the concerns of Gen Z.

President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga address the media at KICC, Nairobi on Tuesday, July 9, 2024. (Photo: PCS)President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga pose for a photo at KICC, Nairobi, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 after addressing the media. (Photo: PCS)

"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 said.

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 oust them.

"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.

Last week, President Ruto participated in his first-ever X-Space conversation with Kenyans, particularly targeting Gen Z youths who led protests against the Finance Bill 2024.

Ruto announced on Thursday night that he will be engaging the youths from 2–5 pm on Friday.

Kenyan youths have been actively engaging on X-Spaces, issuing demands to the president, including urging him to fire his entire cabinet. They also demanded that action be taken against the top police hierarchy, including Inspector General Japhet Koome and Nairobi Police boss Adamson Bungei.

What started as peaceful protests later escalated when rowdy youth infiltrated the demonstrations, leading to public terror and looting of businesses.

As a result, 41 people were killed, many of them shot dead by police, and others succumbed to critical injuries. In response, the Cabinet resolved that any officers who acted outside the law would be prosecuted.

"On any officers who may have acted outside the confines of the law, the Cabinet said they will be dealt with in accordance with legal procedure and by the institutions mandated to do so," the Cabinet resolved last Wednesday.

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