• Wednesday, 24 July 2024
President Ruto announces a six-day multi-sectoral forum to discuss issues pressing Kenyans

President Ruto announces a six-day multi-sectoral forum to discuss issues pressing Kenyans

President William Ruto on Tuesday announced a six-day multi-sectoral dialogue forum beginning Monday, July 15, to discuss issues pressing Kenyans.

Ruto told journalists at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi that the forum will draw representatives from political parties, religious groups, civil society, employers and youth.

“In the interest of making sure we live within our means; all participants will bear their attendance costs. This is a result of consultations we have held this morning,” he said.

Stakeholders will be required to submit their representatives by Friday this week, Ruto added.

The President said the forum “will propose the way forward for the country.”

Ruto spoke after assenting to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The Bill stemmed from recommendations by the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO) constituted after a disputed 2022 presidential election results which saw a section of the IEBC commissioners disown Ruto’s election victory results.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who leads opposition lawmakers, backed Ruto’s dialogue push, terming it “the best way forward out of the crisis we are having today as a country.”

“We will give people an opportunity to be heard,” Odinga said, adding that it will provide a platform for Kenyans to air their grievances and table issues they think are ailing the country towards “a lasting solution.”

“There are many issues affecting Kenyans but all of them are solvable,” said the former prime minister.

“Unemployment, corruption, ethnicity, debt and the management of the economy are issues we need to talk about.”

The forum comes in the wake of deadly nationwide protests against taxation and President Ruto’s leadership.

The protests began last month against the unpopular Finance Bill, 2024 through which Ruto’s government sought to raise an additional Ksh.346 billion in revenue through increased taxation.

But they have persisted even after Ruto declined to assent to the proposed law on June 26 after public pressure.

Over 39 people were killed in the demonstrations, according to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

 

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