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‘Let us not mobilize military against our peaceful children’ – former CS Mutahi Kagwe

Former Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has issued an official statement raising his voice against the current national leadership’s inclination towards deploying the military against peaceful youth demonstrators.

In a powerful statement shared on June 26, 2024, Kagwe strongly opposed the deployment of the military against the youth, emphasizing the need for dialogue and understanding rather than confrontation and force. 

“We are in a critical season when our country Kenya is perched in a very fragile place. As a parent, I have children in the Gen Z demographic, which is now the new voice of the people, and the conscience of the Nation. The proposed bringing of the Military into civilian contestations should be thought through afresh. Our Military is very highly trained, qualified and disciplined for non-civilian environments and tasks. 

“We deploy these disciplined forces against the enemies of our country. Our Gen Z and Millennials are not our enemies. Let us not mobilize the Military against our peaceful children. To bring in the Military is to say that the Kenya Police are unable to handle the situation,” part of Kagwe’s statement read.

Former Health CS Mutahi Kagwe. PHOTO/MoH/Facebook

Further, Kagwe urged the government to refrain from resorting to aggressive tactics and instead create a space for listening to the concerns of the younger generation. 

The former CS also emphasized the importance of adopting a more approachable and open style of governance, steering away from authoritarian responses to public matters.

“We must call the national leadership back to the listening space. Leaders must move away from the present casual approach to governance. They must refrain from chest-thumping and from self-serving brinkmanship. Cavalier approaches to grave public issues have impaired our leaders’ ability to anticipate crises, and to preempt them,” Kagwe remarked.

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Mutahi Kagwe’s proposal

Highlighting a proactive solution to the ongoing situation, Kagwe proposed rejecting the Finance Bill 2024, arguing that imposing it on Kenyans would only intensify existing issues.

He advocated for a more inclusive and consultative approach that takes into account the opinions and well-being of all citizens, especially the youth.

The starting point is for this leadership to heed the voices that have rejected the Finance Bill (2024). The government must reconsider the wisdom of destroying in six days what has taken us sixty years to put together,” Kagwe noted.

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