Saturday, July 13, 2024

Ruto to engage Kenyan youths on X Space Friday after killing, abduction of protesters

Mr Ruto posted a flyer on Thursday calling on youths to join him in an X Space chat on Friday.

• July 4, 2024
Ruto and Kenyan protesters
Ruto and Kenyan protesters

President William Ruto says he wants to engage with Kenyan youths on X space after police under his watch killed about 40 protesters and injured hundreds of them.

Mr Ruto posted a flyer on Thursday calling on youths to join him in an X Space chat on Friday, days after Kenyan authorities declared some anti-Finance bill protesters wanted as the protests ran into its third week.

“Let’s engage, X space,” the flyer emblazoned with a photo of Mr Ruto sitting on a chair reads. “Friday 5th, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.”

In response to Mr Ruto’s X Space invitation, some Kenyan youths said they should host the president and not him hosting them.

@QuraishHabasho said, “Mr President, we are the ones who are supposed to host you, and you join as a guest and not you inviting us. We will boycott.”

“People are concerned on who’s hosting rather than being concerned about who will be given the mic,” @classicAviator0 said.

@KibetOscar said, “It’s disheartening to witness the continued decay of our institutions and lack of essential services due to the mismanagement of our taxes. Corruption at the highest levels is the root cause. We need transparency and accountability from our government officials now more than ever. Your engagement on X will not convince Kenyans, Mr President.”

Mr Ruto’s proposed engagement with youths on X Space comes as protesters match on the streets of Kenya, disrupting commercial activities for the third week since the protests against the finance bill broke out on June 18.

The protests took a bloody turn last week Tuesday as protesters occupied the parliament, defying police’s teargas, water cannons and life bullets.

Videos and photos of police clamping down and opening live rounds on protesters, live bullet shells, and corpses of protesters flood the internet from Kenya, sparking global outrage against Mr Ruto, who, last week Wednesday, announced the withdrawal of the bill.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported that 39 were killed, hundreds injured, and over 30 enforced disappearances were recorded while lamenting police used “excessive and disproportionate force” on protesters.

Governor of Migori County, Ochillo Ayacko, had also condemned Kenyan police for using brute force against protesters, shooting them on their backs even as they fled.  

Mr Ruto, in an interview with journalists on Sunday night, said there was no blood on his hands in a pushback against criticisms that he watched police kill protesters before withdrawing the controversial bill. 

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