In a recent event on November 9, two influential figures, President William Ruto and South African leader Julius Malema, addressed Kenyans with distinct messages. Ruto, in a formal blue suit, delivered a lackluster speech in parliament, while Malema, sporting a black safari suit and red beret, captivated audiences at a Kenyan university with his passionate talk.

Malema’s bold statements, including calling out Ruto for unfulfilled promises and failure to challenge colonialism, resonated with many Kenyans, especially the younger generation. This connection can be traced back to March when protests erupted across four African countries, expressing dissatisfaction with high living costs. Malema’s leadership in South African demonstrations and Kenya’s own political unrest made him a relatable figure.

Professor PLO Lumumba, heading the Pan-African Institute that invited Malema to Kenya, emphasized the importance of Malema’s outspoken approach on Pan-African issues. Lumumba highlighted that Africa needs younger leaders like Malema, who fearlessly advocate for free trade, unrestricted movement within the continent, and African self-governance.

Despite the positive reception in Kenya, Malema remains a controversial figure in South Africa, facing accusations of stirring racial tensions. Opinion polls show his political party, the EFF, with less national support. The Kenyan government, along with some citizens, criticized Malema for his critical comments, emphasizing the need for respect toward host countries’ leaders.

Reflecting on his visit, Malema expressed happiness that Kenyans are embracing the agenda for Africa and recognizing the importance of economic freedom for genuine decolonization.

While Malema’s influence stirred debate and resonated with some Kenyans, it also brought challenges for President Ruto. Now, Ruto must work to regain support from those seeking solutions externally rather than internally for economic and political issues.

[Original Source: BBC News. Credit to BBC for the information.]

Source : BBC

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