#RejectFinanceBill2024: Kenyan protests take a violent turn with police aggression

In a recent article by Marie Claire Nigeria, we told you about the controversial Finance Bill that’s causing chaos and the #RejectFinanceBill2024 protests in Kenya. We shared details of the bill, its implications and the reactions of Kenyans to the bill.

The Bill, which proposes an increment on taxes, including fuel, from 8 to 16 percent, bread, cooking gas, sanitary pads, cancer medication, and diapers, from 0 to 16 percent, was rejected by Kenyans after it passed the second reading in parliament.

Read More: A finance bill is causing chaos in Kenya. Here’s what you need to know

As Kenyans took to the streets to protest the second passing of the bill, President William Ruto relayed intentions for open discussions concerning the bill to quell the protests. However, things have taken a different turn. Here’s an update.

The Parliament is now fully in favour of the Finance Bill

The Bill was passed by the Members of Parliament after the third hearing, despite strong opposition from the public. A total of 195 MPs voted in favor of the bill, 106 voted against the bill, and 3 votes were void.

The Finance Bill will now be sent to William Ruto for presidential assent, which will then make it a standing law. Despite opposition to the bill, Ruto’s administration continues to maintain that the new taxes will help with debt repayment and economic stability.

The #RejectFinanceBill2024 protests gets heated

Protests have since escalated since the announcement of the passage of the bill, resulting in several casualties.

Demonstrators scatter during a protest over proposed tax hikes in a finance bill in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday.
Demonstrators scatter during a protest over proposed tax hikes, via Brian Inganga, AP

Barack Obama’s sister, Auma Obama, who is an activist, got teargassed during the protests on CNN Live while sharing her views concerning the government’s decision to pass the bill into law.

Auma Obama via CNN

At least 10 protesters have also been confirmed dead by paramedics, and several others were injured as the police opened fire on protesters after they gained access to the Parliament building.

Prior to the passing of the bill by the parliament, the police engaged the protesters using teargas and water cannons. But they have taken on a new approach by opening fire on the protesters, causing casualties, and we fear the numbers will continue to increase.

The stance of the general public remains unchanged and made popular with hashtags #RejectFinanceBill2024 and #RejectWilliamRuto

This is a developing story


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