Gen Z Protests: Maturing Democracy, New Dawn of Leaders’ Introspection

This week in Kenya, significant developments signaled a maturing democracy and a new era of leaders’ introspection. Senators and politicians engaged in self-reflection, and President William Ruto hosted an X Space session to address issues raised by the youth.

These events, unimaginable a month ago, were catalyzed by deadly protests. For three weeks, young Kenyans took to the streets, initially rejecting tax proposals in the Finance Bill. The protests quickly escalated, targeting the entire government over perceived corruption, opulence, and impunity.

On Wednesday, Kenyan senators dedicated an entire day to discussing the country’s state following the youth protests that resulted in at least 39 deaths, numerous injuries, and extensive property damage. Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot, who had previously dismissed the Gen Z protests as insignificant, had a change of heart. Moving the motion, he acknowledged the protests as an indictment of the country’s leadership.

President Ruto’s X Space session with the youth, another unprecedented event, allowed for a direct dialogue with the younger generation. This platform provided an opportunity for frank discussions on taxation, corruption, and the overall governance of the nation.

These introspective steps by Kenyan leaders represent a significant shift towards addressing the grievances of the youth and engaging in meaningful dialogue to foster a more inclusive and transparent government.

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