Deadly Clashes Erupt Over Tax Hike Proposal in Kenya

Tax Hike Proposal in Kenya

Nairobi: In a dramatic escalation of tensions, Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, witnessed chaotic scenes as protesters took to the streets to oppose proposed tax increases. The situation turned deadly as police opened fire with live ammunition and tear gas, resulting in at least 10 fatalities. Here are the key details:

  • Parliament Under Siege: Demonstrators overwhelmed security forces and breached part of the Kenyan Parliament building, setting fires and engaging in clashes. The contentious government finance bill, which includes tax hikes, was being debated inside the parliament as blood spilled on the pavement outside.
  • Tax Burden and Debt Crisis: The Kenyan government aims to address its heavy debt burden by raising an additional $2.7 billion through taxes. Currently, interest payments alone consume 37 percent of the government treasury. However, citizens have vehemently opposed the bill, fearing that younger generations will bear the brunt of these tax increases.
  • President Ruto’s Dilemma: The bill now awaits President William Ruto’s decision. He can either sign it into law or send it back to legislators for revisions. Ruto, who won the election two years ago, faces mounting pressure from protesters demanding his resignation.
  • Days of Rage: The protests, organized under the banner of “7 Days of Rage,” show no signs of abating. Last week, two people were killed in similar demonstrations. Amnesty International reports that prominent protest leaders have been abducted, raising concerns about human rights violations.
Tax Hike Proposal in Kenya

As Kenya grapples with economic challenges, a new generation of protesters has emerged, using their voices to shape the country’s future. The streets of Nairobi remain tense, and the fate of the tax bill hangs in the balance.