Kenya’s president to debate with protesters on X Spaces


Kenya’s President William Ruto is set to hold a historic public online forum to talk to anti-tax protesters on social media platform X Spaces.

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

This is a reference to the young people behind the recent protests that have rocked her father’s presidency.

The demonstrations against his finance bill were organised via X Spaces, a feature that allows users to host live audio conversations with others on the platform formerly known as Twitter.

A state-funded human rights commission estimates more than 40 people died during the protests, most on the day the bill was passed by MPs last week. The interior ministry says 25 protesters were killed.

The outrage over the proposed tax increases forced President Ruto to say he would withdraw the legislation intended to help reduce Kenya’s debt burden of over $80bn (£63bn).

But the demonstrations have since morphed into calls for Mr Ruto’s resignation and demands that the security forces face justice over the killing of protesters.

The president has now invited young people to join him on an X Space this Friday with the hashtag #EngageThePresident, between 11:00 GMT and 14:00 GMT (14:00 to 17:00 local time).


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