Kenyatta National Hospital
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To our fallen heroes, we will remember you

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Youths light candles at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi on June 30, 2024, to honour those who died during anti-Finance Bill protests.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

The Senate of the Republic of Kenya shocked many this week when, out of the blues, they decided to speak in the language of the prophets, warning the government of a looming plague if they did not press on the brakes and reverse the country back to where God had previously signalled it to be.

Kenyans had to confirm whether they were hearing their things because they might have been busy engaging in anti-Finance Bill 2024 protests yet Jesus Christ was already busy putting on His pearly robes to return to judge the living and the tone-deaf.

When politicians start speaking like the clergy you can be sure that either the clergy long lost their preordained moral authority to speak for God’s children, or the politicians have seen their seats being tossed up in the air, or both. In a country that winnows the nation’s chaff and sends them to go decompose in Parliament, when the chaff springs back to life and begins to germinate healthy crops, you know the heat under the ground has reached magma levels.

Gen Zs have taught us that three weeks is such a long time in our country’s politics. In under 21 days, they have successfully breached the fortified fences of Parliament, visited churches to carry on from where Jesus left whipping corrupt clergy, and – had they not pitied the tears rolling down the government’s cheeks – they would have now been inside State House resting their breaking backs on the president’s bed.

Fearless courage

We stand a generation that is barely out of their teenage years but decided to bring an entire nation to a standstill by their fearless courage and divine commitment to doing the Lord’s work. For a long time, we have been unfair to this demographic group judging them for their lack of interest in the country’s politics not knowing they had been giving us second chances to make amends for messing up with their future right in their very own eyes.

They deserve an unreserved apology from all the generations that have gone before them for putting them in this situation where they had to finally come out themselves and draw a red line on the sand. We were wrong all along - we were not familiar with their game.

It takes a monumental amount of piss for a generation fit enough to be our children to take the nation’s matters into their own hands. Unknowingly, we have been hurting these kids with our careless words and destructive actions, and every time they expressed disapproval we ignored their signs because we are used to stepping on contrary opinions without considering the mass movement of dissent that we are building as a result.

It did not have to get here for Senators to start spitting the fire that Gen Zs left at parliament buildings last week. We cannot be a country that only says the things everyone wants to hear when our lives and livelihoods are threatened by extinction. We shouldn’t be this selfish. These kids went to school well and can read through the veneer of intermittent populism.

 The good news is that Gen Zs have stepped out from their basal metabolic rate into the light. The bad news is that they are willing to pay the price for eternal vigilance. If you are a government official thinking this latest uproar against bad governance is just another flash in the pan, then be ready to harass analogue civil servants again with a crash course on how to open an X account to reassure your civil service that you’re still in charge.

Panic button

By pressing the panic button for all civil servants to join the president in lying to the country again on social media spaces, a wrong impression has already been sent to the outside world, that the government is struggling for legitimacy to the extent that they can suspend all government business to listen to a needless three-hour monologue that would just have been sent as a one-liner email.

Who ever thought that in just three weeks, the Gen Zs would have made this government-run mad? The president no longer has the appetite to flap his wings out of the country. His friends who helped him with the private jet must be wondering why their act of charity attracted the ire of an entire country in an instant. When you are insensitive to the demands for financial prudence at a time when everyone is struggling with the bare necessities of life, this generational uprising was bound to visit you – the only question was when not if.

There are numerous lessons to be learnt from this sudden jolt by the Gen Zs. At the heart of the matter is the government's realisation that power indeed belongs to the people, who donated it to their representatives at the ballot, but can take it back at will, when they so desire, at a time of their convenience, and without warning.

If they could storm Parliament and occupy the respective seats of their MPs, nothing prevents them from firing all their representatives at the ballot and replacing them with true messengers of the people, who will be beholden to their community needs and answerable to the people directly. If they could visit the offices of their MPs and greet the staff with reality cheques to cash in on their way out, these kids are capable of building their own parallel offices that are accountable to the people, fundraise for their own community development projects and lock out any political player from ever hogging the limelight again.

They did all these to remind the powers that be, that a time has come when Kenyans will no longer be railroaded into supporting tyrannical regimes for the fear of losing the little they have worked for in their various spheres of influence. Gen Zs came out to remind politicians that this country’s destiny shall no longer be tied to the never-ending loop of personal ambition at the expense of hostage-taking an entire generation.

They did it for them. They did it for us. They did it for everyone who calls Kenya home and is desirous of a fresh start devoid of ethnic chauvinism or socioeconomic bloodlines.

One day we will look back at the heaven our country has become and will remember the Gen Zs who laid down their lives for the leadership of this country to stop taking sleep-inducing drugs and start working awake.

We will say the names of our fallen heroes of the struggle, until such a time the government will gazette their immortality at the heroes' corner, and give their families a fair compensation package for the horror experience they have been subject to.

We will remember not to forget.