Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (2024)

Kenya’s Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform

By Steve Biko / Published June 28, 2024 | 6:32 am


Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (1)

Nairobi – Over the past two weeks, Kenya has witnessed an unprecedented wave of protests led primarily by its Gen Z population. These young demonstrators, born between the late 1990s and early 2000s, are taking a powerful stand against the government’s proposed Finance Bill 2024, which they argue will exacerbate the already dire economic conditions in the country.

The protests, which began in the capital city of Nairobi, have spread to other major cities including Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, and Nyeri, showcasing a nationwide cry for economic justice and political accountability.

A Crisis of Confidence

At the heart of the protests is a deep-seated frustration with a government perceived as corrupt and indifferent to the struggles of ordinary citizens. The Finance Bill, which proposes several tax hikes on essential goods and services, has been the flashpoint for this unrest. Critics argue that the bill will disproportionately affect the lower and middle classes, further straining a population already grappling with high costs of living and soaring unemployment rates.

Makena Kahuha, an actor and content creator, voiced a common sentiment among the protesters: “We are already paying taxes, and they are not doing much with it — it gets stolen. So how can we trust them with more?” This lack of trust is echoed by many young Kenyans who see the proposed taxes as a blatant disregard for their economic realities.

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (2)

Read Also: Here Is How Your MPs Voted For The Finance Bill 2024

A Digital Movement

The protests have been significantly bolstered by social media platforms. Hashtags like #OccupyParliament and #RejectFinanceBill2024 have trended for days, mobilizing thousands of young people to take to the streets. This digital activism has not only amplified their voices but also brought international attention to their cause. The movement’s leaders have effectively used platforms like Twitter and TikTok to organize rallies, share live updates, and galvanize support.

Demands for Comprehensive Reform

Beyond the immediate rejection of the Finance Bill, Kenyan youth are calling for broader systemic changes. They demand an end to over-taxation, corruption, and the mismanagement of public funds. The protesters are also advocating for a more accountable government that prioritizes the welfare of all citizens rather than a select few. Their demands extend to improvements in healthcare, education, and respect for the rule of law, with a particular emphasis on ending extrajudicial killings and ensuring justice for all.

Government Response and Public Reaction

In response to the mounting pressure, President William Ruto’s administration has made some concessions, including scrapping several of the most contentious provisions of the Finance Bill, such as taxes on bread and car ownership. However, many young protesters remain skeptical of these promises, citing a history of unfulfilled pledges and continued government wastage. Even with the government conceding and doing away with the Finance Bill 2024, the protests have escalated. Many young ones have been quoted saying that it is beyond the finance Bill.

Despite these partial victories, the protests have been met with heavy police presence and instances of violence. Footage of clashes between protesters and police, who have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds, has been widely shared online, further fueling public outrage and solidarity.

The Broader Implications

The protests led by Kenya’s Gen Z are not just a reaction to economic policies but a clear signal of a generational shift in political engagement. These young people, characterized by their digital savviness and social consciousness, are challenging the traditional political landscape. They are demanding to be heard and are willing to take bold steps to ensure their voices shape the future of their country.

As Wanjiru Gikonyo, national coordinator of the Institute for Social Accountability, remarked, “This revolution of young people is the beginning of change. These young people have shown the older generations how it is done.” Their actions have highlighted a crucial need for a government that listens to its citizens and addresses their needs effectively and transparently.

In essence, the ongoing protests in Kenya underscore a critical juncture in the country’s political evolution. The youth, empowered by technology and driven by a vision for a fairer society, are challenging the status quo. Their demands for justice, accountability, and comprehensive reform resonate deeply within a nation yearning for change. The coming weeks and months will be pivotal in determining whether the government will heed these calls and undertake meaningful reforms or continue to face growing dissent from its youngest and most vocal critics.

Read Also: William Ruto Declines To Sign Finance Bill 2024 Into Law


More Articles From This Author

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (3)

Leaderless Movements: A Double-Edged Sword In Modern Protests

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (4)

Kenya’s Financial Turmoil: Ruto’s Bill Withdrawal Fails To Quell Youth Discontent

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (5)

Kenya’s Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (6)

The Shift from NHIF to SHIF: A Dangerous Step In The Wrong Direction For Kenya

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (7)

Creative Money Management: Turning Addictions Into Financial Security

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (8)

The Finance Bill 2024: A Roadblock To Economic Stability And Business Growth

Kenya's Gen Z Leads a Revolution: A Demand For Justice, Accountability, And Economic Reform (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kelle Weber

Last Updated:

Views: 6775

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kelle Weber

Birthday: 2000-08-05

Address: 6796 Juan Square, Markfort, MN 58988

Phone: +8215934114615

Job: Hospitality Director

Hobby: tabletop games, Foreign language learning, Leather crafting, Horseback riding, Swimming, Knapping, Handball

Introduction: My name is Kelle Weber, I am a magnificent, enchanting, fair, joyous, light, determined, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.