President Ruto Faces Backlash as Deadly Riots Erupt Over Controversial Tax Bill

Did Ruto Sellout His Country? Why do African Leaders Never Learn?

President Ruto Faces Backlash as Deadly Riots Erupt Over Controversial Tax Bill Protesters

At least eight people were shot and killed in Kenya on Tuesday as riot police clashed with anti-tax protesters in Nairobi, according to local media reports. The unrest erupted in response to the government’s controversial finance bill, which has sparked widespread public anger.

Local news outlet KTN News published videos showing officers firing gunshots to disperse a crowd attempting to storm the National Assembly. The lawmakers inside were in the process of passing a finance bill that introduced several contentious taxes.

Reuters also reported that its correspondent counted at least five bodies outside the parliament after police opened fire. Prior to the shooting, tear gas and water cannons had been deployed but failed to quell the demonstrators.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission has condemned the police’s use of lethal force. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), the NGO said it witnessed the police shooting four people, resulting in one death.

“We strongly condemn the police killing. Such actions are unacceptable and constitute a grave violation of human rights. Justice and accountability are imperative. We will vigorously push for police accountability,”

the NGO declared.

Multiple reports indicate that the protesters overwhelmed the police presence and breached the legislature, setting a section of it on fire. A police vehicle was also torched, as reported by local daily The Star.

A protestor identified as Davis Tafari expressed the demonstrators’ determination to Reuters.

“We want to shut down parliament and every MP should go down and resign. We will have a new government,”

Tafari stated.

The protests, predominantly led by young people, began last week in reaction to the government’s 2024 Finance Bill. The bill aims to generate an additional $2.7 billion in taxes to reduce Kenya’s budget deficit.

President Ruto Faces Backlash as Deadly Riots Erupt Over Controversial Tax Bill

Protesters have been urging MPs to retract the proposed tax hikes, which include an annual 2.5% tax on car ownership and a 16% tax on bread. The bread tax was subsequently removed from the legislation following public backlash.

Despite the public outcry, lawmakers approved the Finance Bill on Tuesday with 195 votes in favor and 106 against. The legislation now awaits the signature of President William Ruto. In light of the protests, which have already resulted in at least two deaths, Ruto has promised to hold talks to address the youth’s concerns.

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Written by Siphiwe Dlamini

Name: Siphiwe Dlamini
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Journalist and Political Analyst

Siphiwe Dlamini is a dynamic and passionate journalist and political analyst based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience, Siphiwe has established himself as a trusted voice in the field of journalism, particularly in political reporting and analysis.

Siphiwe holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, where he honed his skills in investigative reporting, news writing, and multimedia storytelling. Additionally, he pursued a degree in Political Science, deepening his understanding of political systems, international relations, and policy analysis. This interdisciplinary educational background equips him with a comprehensive understanding of the socio-political landscape, enabling him to provide insightful commentary on current affairs.

Throughout his career, Siphiwe has demonstrated a commitment to journalistic integrity and a relentless pursuit of truth. He has worked for several prominent media outlets, including leading newspapers, television networks, and online platforms. His reporting has covered a wide range of topics, from domestic politics and social issues to international affairs and human rights.

Siphiwe's journalistic endeavors have taken him to the frontlines of major events, where he has provided on-the-ground coverage and in-depth analysis. His ability to contextualize complex political developments and communicate them effectively to diverse audiences has earned him recognition and respect within the industry.

Beyond his work in traditional media, Siphiwe is also actively engaged in public discourse, participating in panel discussions, debates, and academic conferences. He is committed to promoting transparency, accountability, and democratic values through his journalism.

As a political analyst, Siphiwe possesses a keen analytical mind and a nuanced understanding of political dynamics. He is adept at dissecting political rhetoric, evaluating policy proposals, and forecasting future trends. His insightful commentary helps citizens navigate the complexities of governance and make informed decisions about their collective future.

Siphiwe's expertise extends beyond mere reporting; he is also deeply involved in advocacy efforts aimed at promoting press freedom, defending human rights, and fostering democratic governance. Through his work, he strives to amplify marginalized voices, hold power to account, and contribute to the advancement of a more just and equitable society.

In his pursuit of excellence, Siphiwe remains dedicated to upholding the highest standards of journalism and serving as a catalyst for positive change in his community and beyond. With his unwavering commitment to truth, integrity, and social justice, he continues to inspire and empower others to engage critically with the world around them.


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