Dinner with PM- What Questions Would You Like Answered?

Last week, through his official twitter account,Prime Minister Raila Odinga,(all protocol observed), expressed his intention to dine with tweeps,and asked Kenyans on Twitter to nominate those among them who would make good representatives at the round table forums that he occasionally has with various interest groups.

It was all the buzz last Wednesday,with many a tweep nominating themselves,and others. I recall the #dinnerwithPM hash tag making its way to my timeline when my friend Adelle nominated me,setting into motion the reason behind this post.

Well, I happen to be one among those that ‘won’ the dinner. I must issue a disclaimer at this point. I dislike the notion/insinuation that it was a competition. I am not sure if that was the PMs intent. I don’t think it a matter of being a winner as it is/should be about bearing the responsibility of representation. Thank you to all who deemed me a suitable candidate to rep #KenyansOnTwitter, the youth,and any other interest group I may represent. It’s been one thing writing posts and tweeting about matters Kenyan, matters that commonly affect (most of)us all, this is a whole other platform! (A bit scary too…)

Well,the date has/will be set and communicated. To the best of my knowledge,the round table forum will be aired live on Ustream,and it would be absolutely awesome if you all could tune in and follow the conversations.

To that end, I,and the other 9 representatives, have been asked to come up with 10 questions each for the PM to address. I believe the underlying theme is ‘Issues Affecting The (Kenyan) Youth.’ This isn’t a new discussion and it isn’t one that’s about to be satisfactorily concluded,in my opinion.

This forum is for each of you reading this post,and mine is but a humbling role of representative. (Sounds like politician talk? :-/) I’d like to believe there’s a reason why the PM chose twitter as the forum to select said individuals. Social media promotes transparency as a virtue,and politicians have no choice but to respect and adhere to that pre-set agenda. I want to believe that the bottom line is that we shall not allow euphoric interest in who/what we represent to deduct from the powerful force we are proving to be!

So send in your questions over the next 24 hours.I will do a post on the final 10 questions that I’ll take to the dinner table. I believe that the other representatives would like to hear from you,after all,it is you who set this platform for us :). I urge for objectivity in the questions. As unsettled,discontent and angry as we may be,let’s realize this for the opportunity to put our leaders on the spotlight, and to hold them accountable to their words and promises.

Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

Follow @ahmedsalims, @AKenyanGirl, @CynthiaNyamai, @ramah_abubakar, @lkatho, @CrystaLCurrency, @noduwo, @positiveactionK and @dan_obura as well.

Author: Nanjira

Perched at the intersection of tech & governance, media, culture.

  • bill

    It would be nice for him to update the kazi kwa vijana initiave. The idea was a good but really alot of the money has been disappearing into administrative costs and dubious transactions yet simply the project was initiated to cater primarily for the poor youth with whom they and the families are on the brink of hunger and starvation.
    The youth best understand the issues they face and how to tackle them and the kazi kwa vijana needs vijana to charter the way and not kenyan ‘vijanas’ of age 40, we have many learned youth both domestically in the various communites and generally in Nairobiand other urban areas, whom should be given administrative positions in this initiative or atleast a a platform where there voice can bring alot on the table and have academic qualifications and looking for also a food source eg National Steering Committee which is the implementation body of the Kazi kwa vijana chaired by the PM and endowed of numerous ministers to atleast have substancial youth membership here and also the ladies of the communities because we have projects initiated that are not beneficiary to the community and people in the local level like in matuu when they complained they do not want priority on the roads but water but the ‘vijana’ saw water hard to implement and sort for roads …. really???
    Having said all that all i would ask as someone who has worked with people in this initiative is for the people who it is heping let them have a voice and power to approve a project.the approx or give priority to a project , because really 15billion + 4.5 billion has maybe been used but has it achieved the initial goal?


    • Hey Bill, I hear you completely. The Kazi Kwa Vijana,Ministry of Youth Affairs and all other initiatives for the ‘youth’ have been dubious so far. Thanks for sharing.
      Sent from my BlackBerry®

  • How about lowering interest rates for SME’s largely under the hands of the youth. If the GoK has automated registration of persons, why we are still coming to Nairobi to register Business names and companies? It doesn’t make any sense at all…..corruption and bureaucracy reign supreme here yet the AG Office under which the Registrar Of Biz is, has offices countrywide…?

    • Greatest irony, heading to Sheria House shortly,yet it is an automated process. Yup, how can we keep these govt processes accountable?

  • 1. How are the Economic policies being implemented in accordance with youth’s abilities aiming at helping them to do something, somewhere?

    2. To many young people, the world of politics seems far removed from their daily realities of school commitments, leisure activities, and employment challenges.

    Many youth fail to see a connection between these realities and the impact of public policies on their lives. Is there a solution?

    3.The present generation of young people, unlike its predecessors, lives in an increasingly
    globalizing world that is being transformed by a wide range of technological innovations.
    Despite these major developments, it is a world that still faces deep socio-economic disparities across various regions.

    Although, communities and people have come on board to talk about the emergence of youth around the world and in Kenya, young people are increasingly being excluded from participation in all affairs (look at the UK events currently, it is all about jobs).

    It is in this context, participation becomes a key notion that needs to be nurtured. Youth participation is a key strategy that needs to be strengthened at various levels – local, regional, national, and international what level is the Kenyan government at in putting in place avenues of a bottom up approach in engaging the youth? Programs that integrates youth in decision -making process and forums on youths’ development policies as crosscutting issues in local govt authorities.

  • justype

    ask the PM what the govt is doing to permanently address starvation. Require of him specific projects, dates and budgets. You could could also ask what why we are under utilizing irrigation projects and site Tana river banks as suitable for irrigation but not fully utilized.

  • PK

    Msupastar: congratulations!! My question is simple if you will have it (grave pause) what does it mean to the PM to be Kenyan how will he instill that in this generation.

    • That is a very good question. If you watched Al Jazeera’s ‘The Cafe’ where they featured the PM,this was one of the matters discussed, what the Kenyan identity is. I don’t recall the PM answering that question, so it definitely is one for the books. Thanks for sharing.

  • So I strongly agree with David up here 😉
    What I may add is re-visiting the issue of comprehensive education; I don’t have the technical buzzwords but I think aside from the textbook drilling that is rampant in our system, we need to incorporate civic awareness and practical skillsets from an early age say from class 6 or age twelve. Like David said Kenyan youth fail to see how crucial the political goings-on are to their day-to-day living and this is largely due to the fact that they have little or no idea what is going on, what their rights are, where they fit in into the whole picture and what they can do when there’s a leadership gap. Is there a proper and practical education assessment not just the scrapping of important aspects like Kiswahili, surely?
    It’s not simply jobs, we don’t give the skills necessary to young people for them to realize it’s not even about being an employee and if any of the vision 2030s or MDGs are to be realized, it’s time the who’s who started mentoring, training and teaching the young what and how to be what they ought to be.
    Also there is so much untapped talent out there, it pains me when I see pieces about science/technological or other young creatives who have a wealth of raw skill that can be honed for the better of this great nation but such stories fade into oblivion due to one political scandal after another or whatever else the nations “leaders” are involved in. There is not enough space for creative/enterprising young minds to stretch their thinking or even resources for them to do even greater things. Is the GoK committed to funding and promoting institutions that will tap this pool of crucial talent? These could be the people who develop sustainable and lasting energy, food security and unemployment issues(among the many other problems we face).

  • Msema Kweli

    Ask him if he will retire from politics if he is defeated in the 2012 presidential polls…

  • First off, congratulations for being selected.

    I’m with Bill, I’d like to know how Kazi kwa Vijana is doing, that and the Youth fund.

    I’m also feeling Davids point,

    What is the role of the youth in the new constituitional dispensation?
    i.e. Senate, County Government etc etc

    My Question?
    What is HE doing to prevent a repeat of the post election violence?

  • I’m with Mwirigi. What is HE personally doing to prevent PEV?

  • All protocol observed? It is “The Right Honorable…”(whatever that means, just joking.) Anyway, I am not really a youth nowadays but I would be interested in reading your take after the meeting so make sure you post something about that. It would be nice to find out from him whether he is willing to sacrifice his ambitions and support a younger and fresher candidate for president or if he feels that he is the only one qualified to be prezzo after the Baks retires