Raila, Kivutha Kibwana praise Gen Z's bold protest against the Finance Bill

A lady walks away from a teargas canister during the Finance Bill protests in Nairobi.

On Tuesday, Kenya witnessed an extraordinary wave of protests against the Finance Bill 2024, led primarily by the nation's Gen Z.

These young Kenyans have taken to the streets and online platforms to voice their opposition.

The protests have been remarkable for their organization and peaceful nature. Social media has been abuzz with praise for these young activists, with many commending their professionalism and bravery.

Prominent figures like opposition leader Raila Odinga and journalist Larry Madowo have expressed their admiration for Gen Z's courage and determination.

Raila Odinga even singled out a young woman for her bravery.

"I’m a very proud father today! Hongera sana to the young lady and all those who bravely stood up for their rights!" Raila wrote on X.

Madowo echoed similar sentiments, celebrating the spirit of Gen Z.

"I stan fearless Kenyan Gen Z baddies fighting for their freedoms online and offline. Your courage and conviction is inspiring. It’s giving revolution. We are led," he said.

Many Kenyans across generations have voiced their support for the movement. Gabriel Oguda, another prominent figure, assured Gen Z that the "entire country" is behind them.

"All Gen Z's in Kenya should know that the entire country is fully behind them, in their quest to finish off what the old timers started many years ago. Tomorrow, we shall be on the sidelines cheering you on when you finally finish the demolition job. Go, get 'em!" he wrote.

Journalist Stephen Letoo pointed out the peaceful nature of the protests, noting the absence of violence or vandalism.

"I have NEVER Covered on news a Professional Protest like #REJECTFINANCEBILL2024 Gen Z hats off! No looting, no stones only queens language, facts and Maths! Police did not have to use teargas this time," said Letoo.

Some, like Khalif Kairo, see this movement as a springboard for greater political participation. He proposed forming a Gen Z/Millennial political party, highlighting their desire for a stronger voice in government.

"Next logical step is setting up a Gen Z/ Millenial political party of Kenya. After that we start a massive ground registration campaign. Then by 2027 we come up with a list of candidates we can support. First target should be the county of Nairobi," wrote Khalif.

Veteran politician Kivutha Kibwana warned the government against ignoring the youth's concerns, citing the historical role of young people in Kenya's fight for a new constitution.

"The most dangerous thing for a government to do is to declare war on its youth. In the 90s majority of those who fought for a new constitution were young persons led by civil society and political opposition. Today Gen Z are on the front line. Government must dialogue with them," he advised.

Social media was abuzz with admiration for Gen Z's fearless females, with one user humorously noting, "Our Gen Z ladies are something else. Very fearless wanaimba hivi kwa Police station bana. Hawa wanaogopa Mungu na loyalty tests pekee? Your flowers are here darlings.”

Another social media user summed up the generational solidarity, saying, "Millennials & Gen Z making & being the change is one for the books! I’m so proud of y’all out in the streets doing this for us! We will continue amplifying your posts and voices for those who couldn’t make it for one reason or another.”

The Finance Bill protests have shown the world a new wave of activism in Kenya. Gen Z's tech-savviness, strong organization, and peaceful approach have set a new standard for civic engagement.

Their determination to be heard is earning them respect and admiration from across the country.


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