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“Maandamano Alone Is Not The Solution” Saumu Mbuvi Pleads With Gen Zs To End Street Protests

President William Ruto’s withdrawal of the contentious Finance Bill, 2024, has not deterred the youthful Gen Z protesters, who are set to return to the streets on Tuesday, July 2, 2024.

Despite the President’s concession, the young generation, credited with the pressure that led to the bill’s withdrawal, remains resolute in their quest for change.

Last week, Gen Z declined an invitation to participate in the National Multi-Sectoral Forum (NMSF), a platform intended to address their concerns.

On Sunday June 30, 2024, the protesters held a candle-lit vigil at Jevanjee Gardens in honor of their colleagues who died during the Tuesday Occupy Parliament protests.

The number of casualties remains disputed, but President Ruto stated the figure at 19 during a media roundtable on Sunday.

From Jevanjee Gardens, the youths marched to Kenyatta National Hospital under heavy police presence to visit the injured protesters.

They vowed to continue their demonstrations, planning protests for both Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Using the hashtag #OccupyEverywhere, they have been rallying Kenyans to show solidarity by occupying major roads nationwide.

The mass civil unrest began on June 18, 2024, with the inaugural Occupy Parliament demonstrations, significantly mobilized by Gen Z on social media.

Though Sunday’s June 30, 2024, events were largely peaceful, the atmosphere is tense as preparations for the next round of protests this week intensify.

Saumu Mbuvi, daughter of former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, has urged the young protesters to call off the street demonstrations.

In an Instagram post, Saumu argued that ongoing protests risk destabilizing the economy and could lead to more deaths and destruction of property and businesses.

“It takes a week or a day to burn down a nation, but it will take 100 years or more to build it back. I don’t wish for us to reach where countries like Sudan are.

“We are one of the most developing nations in Africa, but we are now destabilizing our economy. We rejected the Finance Bill and our cry was heard, but what next from here?

“We have no leaders, no strategies, neither do we have direct solutions. Maandamano alone is not the solution; there is no fun in seeing more people dying and businesses destroyed,” Saumu Mbuvi wrote.

She acknowledged that President Ruto’s roundtable interview on Sunday June 30, 2024, did little to reassure Gen Z that their plights would be heard.

“After yesterday’s interview, I know it’s even harder to give dialogue, but we can find better ways other than destabilizing the economy,” Saumu added.

Saumu Mbuvi protests

During the media roundtable at State House, President Ruto agreed to Gen Z’s demand to engage on the social media platform X, rather than through multi-sectoral forums.

“I promised that I would engage the young people through multi-sectoral forums. I also promised the topics that I wanted us to discuss, and I’m open.

“I have heard that they do not want a multi-sectoral forum, and maybe we should engage on X, and I’m open to talking with them on a forum they are comfortable with,” Ruto said.

As the nation watches with bated breath, the next few days will reveal whether the appeals for dialogue and the President’s concessions will suffice to calm the simmering unrest or if the protests will continue to escalate.

Related: Huddah Monroe Gives Lame Excuses Why She Keeps On Skipping Anti-Finance Bill demos 

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