Raila Odinga has publicly declared his unwavering support for the Gen Z protesters who have been at the forefront of anti-government demonstrations, prompting President William Ruto to address some of their demands.

In a post on X on Saturday, July 6, 2024, Raila urged young people to persist in their fight for a better Kenya, despite police brutality that has resulted in deaths and injuries among protesters.

“I stand in support of these young people and urge them not to surrender. Police brutality must end,” Raila captioned a video of himself speaking at the requiem mass for Jimi Wanjigi’s father on Friday.

Raila’s statement on Saturday reinforced his remarks at the funeral service.

Addressing mourners at the mass, Raila encouraged Gen Z to remain resilient in the face of police aggression.

He recalled his own experiences with police teargas, urging the youth to stand firm.

“Police should not use brutality against unarmed innocent people who are demonstrating for their rights. I have seen Gen Z getting teargassed. Kula tear gas ata sisi tumekula tear gas. Endeleeni kukula tear gas, tell them to add tear gas, tell them you will not surrender ata wakileta nini nyinyi mutasimama imara,” Raila said.

Raila’s comments come as President Ruto engaged with Kenyan youth on X Spaces on Friday, July 5, 2024, to address key issues that fueled the protests.

The President’s efforts are part of a broader strategy to curb government spending and address the concerns raised by the protests.

During the X Spaces engagement, Ruto acknowledged the frustration and anger among the youth, emphasizing his commitment to making necessary reforms.

The President also addressed the issue of police brutality, assuring the public that steps would be taken to hold accountable those responsible for excessive force.

The anti-government protests, largely driven by young people, have highlighted widespread dissatisfaction with the current administration.

Demonstrators have been vocal about issues such as corruption, economic mismanagement, and police violence.

The government’s response, including the dissolution of state corporations and promises of accountability, marks a significant shift in addressing these concerns.

Raila’s support for the Gen Z protesters adds a powerful voice to the movement, emphasizing the need for continued pressure on the government to enact meaningful change.

As the situation develops, the role of youth activism in shaping Kenya’s political landscape remains a key focus.

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