'You don't speak on our behalf!' Reactions after Raila Odinga welcomes Ruto, Gen Z dialogue

'You don't speak on our behalf!' Reactions after Raila Odinga welcomes Ruto, Gen Z dialogue

Raila Odinga addressing the press at KICC shortly after President Ruto assented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Bill. Photo I Pool

Opposition leader Raila Odinga was on Tuesday turned into a punching bag by Kenyans online after announcing that he has agreed to have a dialogue with President William Ruto to discuss the current crisis facing the nation.

The two leaders agreed to commence a six-day multi-sectorial forum which is set to begin on Monday, July 15, and end on Saturday to foster national dialogue and seek lasting solutions to Kenya's pressing issues following the Gen Z-driven anti-taxation protests.

"I am happy to confirm that we have had consultations and we have agreed that dialogue is the way forward out of the crisis that we’re having today in our country," said Mr Odinga.

"We agreed that we give people an opportunity to be heard, to express themselves, to come out with the grievances which are actually ailing our country today so that a lasting solution can be found."

Minutes after the public announcement, Kenyans online, mostly the youth, fired at Mr Odinga questioning in what capacity he would be taking part in the talks as many distanced themselves from being represented by political quotas.

Odinga's 2022 General Election running mate Martha Karua termed the move "a trap", adding that it will hinder the existence of meaningful talks to iron out the demands for Gen Zs.

"I agree with those who say Action Now on the clear and attainable demands of the GenZ to enhance accountability and make the state work for the masses rather than for a handful elites," she wrote on X.

"Let’s be careful as the political class lest we hijack the genuine clamor for accountability and reforms by the GenZ. This is a trap period."

Odinga's biological son also chimed into the online clamor, seemingly distancing himself from his father's opinions saying "Everybody is an individual please!  Even people with the same exact names."

Other Kenyans hopped on the ridicule bandwagon insisting that dialogue between Odinga and the government has always collapsed and he will not be allowed to represent the youth in any capacity whatsoever.

Odinga's private credentials including his mobile phone numbers were later paraded on the platform, customary to how any individual acting against the demands of the Gen Z has been treated.

Photoshopped images showing Odinga donning a UDA t-shirt were also being shared widely by the time of this publication.

X user 5peopleke said "Raila, as you go ahead and dialogue, kindly don't involve us. Discuss your private matters. You don't speak on our behalf."

Another user Cornelius Ronoh said "The dialogue is between two individuals; William Ruto and Raila Odinga. We refuse to be controlled by selfish politicians who only value their stomachs. Gen Zs and Millennials are now taking the bull by the horns. Hatupangwingwi. They will not believe!"

The Government Critic also wrote "We told Raila Odinga to rest and let us handle our on matter. We are not going to dialogue with President William Ruto. We know how it ends and Baba is a clear example how dialogue never works!"

Prominent Kenyan X user Cyprian Nyakundi added "Raila Odinga is the biggest enemy of the Gen-Z movement. He has been worried all along because it's now clear that Kenyans can unite without him, putting his bargaining power at risk."

The vexed youths have maintained that they will not tire to mount pressure against government and will remain leaderless and without any political representation.


Raila Odinga IEBC Twitter William Ruto Citizen Digital X Gen Z

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