Don't engage Raila, Kahiga Mutahi tells President Ruto

Mutahi Kahiga

Nyeri County Governor Mutahi Kahiga speaks during the signing of annual performance contracts by county government officials at his office on July 10, 2024. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has urged President William Ruto to abandon the national dialogue aimed at resolving issues raised by young protesters and instead focus on addressing the concerns of Generation Z.

Speaking at the county's Annual Department Performance Contracts signing ceremony, Mr Kahiga criticised the President's decision to engage the opposition regarding the issues raised by the young protesters, calling the move outdated.

"Mr President, wake up and smell the coffee. I have listened to you, and those are outdated methods. The idea of bringing in Mr Raila Odinga is something that Kenyans grew tired of long ago—he has been brought in too many times. The same applies for Kalonzo Musyoka. This is a new era, and I know you read the Bible; new wine and old wineskins don’t mix. If we are dealing with new wine, we need new wineskins,” he said.

According to Mr Kahiga, the discussions involving Dr Ruto, DP Rigathi Gachagua and several leaders from both the government and the opposition, including Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka, will not yield any different results.

He expressed disappointment that the demands of Generation Z have not been addressed, with the President only setting up a 150-member task force to negotiate. He warned that if the state continues with the talks, it is the young people and Kenyans who will suffer.

“As leaders, let us engage with the young people and stop branding them names. Stop using derogatory terms while defining them. If indeed their demands are unreasonable, let us explain to them,” he said.

During the ceremony, which was attended by managing directors of the five water service providers (WSP) in the county and county government staff, Mr Kahiga also criticised politicians who have allegedly sidelined the Deputy President.

He noted that the seclusion of DP Rigathi by the government has only strengthened his bond with the electorate and urged President Ruto to allow the DP to perform his constitutional duties with respect befitting the office.

“We request the President to allow his DP to be who he was elected to be during the August 9, 2022 elections,” he said.

He also advised the President to consult with his deputy and the cabinet to find modern and innovative ways to address concerns raised by Kenyans.

On administration of the devolved unit, the county boss ordered departments to avoid starting new projects before completing the ongoing ones unless they are adequately funded. He also instructed department heads to sell or donate idle and unserviceable assets to raise surplus revenue.