Kenyan President to Debate Protesters at X Spaces


Kenyan President William Ruto will hold a historic public online forum to engage with anti-tax protesters on social media platform X Spaces.

His 31-year-old daughter Charlene Ruto calls it “the first-ever president in the world to hold an online meeting with all Gen Zers”.

She is referring to the young people behind the recent protests that shook her father’s presidency.

The protests against his financial bill were organized through X Spaces, a feature that allows users to have live audio conversations with others on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

A state-funded human rights commission estimates that more than 40 people have been killed in the protests, most of them on the day the bill was passed by lawmakers last week. The Interior Ministry says 25 protesters have been killed.

Outrage over the proposed tax hikes forced President Ruto to announce he would withdraw legislation aimed at reducing Kenya’s more than $80 billion (£63 billion) debt burden.

But the demonstrations have now escalated into calls for Ruto to step down and demands that security forces be brought to justice for killing the protesters.

The President has now invited young people to join him at an X Space this Friday with the hashtag #EngageThePresident, between 11:00 GMT and 14:00 GMT (2:00 PM to 5:00 PM local time).

His daughter Charlene also tweeted to promote the three-hour opportunity to speak directly with the president.

“Young people, the opportunity of a lifetime awaits you,” she posted.

“I encourage you to use it wisely and act constructively, because you are the ones who will determine the continuity of such levels of discussion for your success.”

Several members of Ruto’s cabinet will also be present to talk to young people and discuss their complaints.

A section of Kenyans on X have vowed to boycott the President’s talk and have planned a parallel Space to counter the talk.

They claim that Ruto is already aware of their demands, which include dissolving the cabinet, taking measures against corruption and implementing austerity measures within his government.

President Ruto will deliver a national televised address before engaging with the protesters.

More BBC stories on Kenya’s tax crisis:

A woman looks at her mobile phone and the image BBC News AfricaA woman looks at her mobile phone and the image BBC News Africa

(Getty Images/BBC)

Go to for more news from the African continent.

follow us on twitter @BBCAfricaon Facebook on BBC Africa or on Instagram at bbcafrica

BBC Africa Podcasts

?s=598314& gb%5D& nojs ISAPI%5D&x9=%5BKenya%27s+president+to+debate+with+protesters+on+X+Spaces%5D&x11=%5B2024 07 05T10%3A38%3A31.199Z%5D&x12=%5B2024 07

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top