Home News Youth protests aim to force Kenya to reverse tax hike

Youth protests aim to force Kenya to reverse tax hike


Hundreds of Kenyans took to the streets on Tuesday in a youth-led movement as demonstrators hope to force the government to repeal a finance bill that critics say will make life difficult for millions of people struggling to survive in the East African country.

The controversy over the bill has rocked Kenya, an economic powerhouse of 54 million people that has long been a pillar of stability in a volatile region. Protest against tax increases At least one person was killed and 200 were injured across the country last week. According to Amnesty International.

Ahead of Tuesday’s demonstration, several activists Famous critics The Act KidnappedThe kidnappers have not been identified publicly, but some of them are Believed to be an intelligence agentFaith Odhiambo, president of the Bar Association, said police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Members of parliament are scheduled to debate and vote on proposed amendments to the bill on Tuesday. President William Ruto’s ruling coalition received enough votes to pass the bill, although opposition leaders have rejected the measure outright. Once the bill is approved by parliament, Mr Ruto can then sign it into law or send it back for amendments.

Last week, demonstrators flooded the streets as lawmakers vowed to scrap some taxes, including those on bread, cooking oil and cars. But protesters denounced other levies, including on imported goods, and urged the government to abandon the draft legislation.

“During these tough economic times, the government has the audacity to raise taxes, ignore our voices and mistreat us, which shows how insensitive the government is to the feelings of the people and how little they care about us,” said Kasmuel McOure, a 26-year-old musician who took part in Tuesday’s protest.

Observers say the protests Mentored by young people Using social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, they have launched a leaderless movement that has inspired an entire nation. Young Kenyans say their movement transcends class, tribe or race to achieve economic security and social equality for millions, something that remains an elusive dream for them.

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