Gen Z Protests: A Golden Opportunity for President Ruto’s Reforms

Gen Z Protests A Golden Opportunity for President Ruto's Reforms

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The ongoing public discontent and nationwide protests led by Generation Z could provide President William Ruto with an unexpected chance to implement drastic changes in his administration and combat corruption.

University Professor Gitile Naituli believes that these protests offer Ruto a unique opportunity to prove his critics wrong and transform his legacy. Naituli stated, “The moment has been presented to him (Ruto) to have a great legacy and to become the best President that the country ever had.”

Naituli suggests that Ruto could use the demands of Gen Z to clean up his government, form a competent cabinet, and aggressively pursue recovered funds. Reports indicate that Ruto might seize this moment to remove some of his allies from key positions, whose appointments sparked public outcry over concerns of incompetence.

Analysts propose that Ruto could leverage the protests to break key campaign promises made to his confidants. Some of these individuals, who played significant roles in his election, were slated for Chief Administrative Secretary, ambassadorial, and public service jobs.

Governance analyst Javas Bigambo thinks that Ruto can use this opportunity to make swift decisions to gain public trust amid the growing anger. Bigambo stated, “The silence in the cabinet is wanting, the president has been abandoned by his cabinet to fight it alone yet he is fighting to keep his allies in cabinet, he must crack the whip.”

Ruto has already indicated his willingness to reduce public sector expenditure. He recently announced that the employment of prospective CAS officers would be cancelled due to the country’s economic situation. Ruto said, “On CASs, the court declared themselves on that and we have respected that. We are not going to appoint CASs until our economy can sustain that.”

There are indications that Ruto might reconsider some of his campaign promises, such as hiring more teachers and constructing roads, due to budget cuts. However, he has promised significant reforms in his administration to address public concerns and save his government.

Ruto pledged to target the office of the First Lady, the Spouse of the Deputy President, and the wife of the Prime Cabinet Secretary as part of the austerity measures. He said, “There are some offices, including that of the First Lady and the Second Lady, that will not receive funds this year due to our current situation.”

The countrywide protests, primarily led by Generation Z, have put Ruto in a challenging political and economic position. However, former police spokesperson Charles Owino believes that these protests give Ruto a chance to fix his government and the country.

Owino stated, ”The president is the biggest beneficiary of the anti-government protests because he now has an opportunity to reshuffle the cabinet and reduce salaries.” The protests continue into their third week, with demonstrators demanding more accountability from the government and some calling for Ruto’s resignation.

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