Protests Continue in Kenya Over Controversial Finance Bill

Protesters are also demanding Ruto’s resignation

Protests Continue in Kenya Over Controversial Finance Bill

Protests erupted once more in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and other regions on Tuesday over a finance bill that would significantly raise the cost of living. This unrest persists even after President William Ruto stated he would not sign the bill following the storming of parliament last week.

In Nairobi, police used tear gas to disperse protesters, while many businesses remained shut to avoid potential looting. The main highway leading to Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa, was blocked as protesters set bonfires.

Concerns are mounting that President Ruto might reconsider and sign the finance bill before next week’s deadline. Some protesters are also demanding Ruto’s resignation, accusing him of poor governance.

However, members of the youth-led protests voiced concerns about the infiltration of the movement by those seeking to incite violence. Hanifa Farsafi, an organizer, expressed this worry on the social media platform X on Tuesday, writing,

“Goons have infiltrated.”

The previous week’s protests turned deadly as police opened fire. The Kenya National Human Rights Commission reported 39 deaths over the two weeks of unrest, while President Ruto cited the number as 19 during a statement on Sunday.

In response to the turmoil, President Ruto has proposed dialogue with Kenyan youth and promised to implement budget cuts on travel and hospitality expenses for his office, addressing some of the protesters’ demands. Despite these promises, widespread dissatisfaction remains due to high unemployment rates and rising prices, exacerbated by the perceived opulence of the president and senior officials.

The youth-led but leaderless protest movement has expressed distrust in the president’s commitment to his new austerity measures. Skepticism is high regarding Ruto’s willingness to genuinely address the economic challenges facing ordinary Kenyans.

Kenya’s main opposition party on Tuesday demanded that Ruto’s government take responsibility for the deaths that occurred during the protests last week.

Economist Ken Gichinga suggested that the government needs to adopt a different strategy for tax reforms to stimulate economic growth.

“The Gen Zs are the most affected by the unemployment,”

Gichinga told The Associated Press.

The situation remains tense as the deadline for the finance bill approaches, with the potential for further unrest if the government does not take decisive and inclusive action.

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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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