Kenyan police tear gas anti-finance bill demonstrators.


Hundreds of Kenyans fired tear gas at the parliament building on Tuesday to protest a proposed budget bill that would raise taxes on gasoline and housing.

East Africa’s economic giant is under pressure to generate revenues in the face of growing government debt commitments, and President William Ruto, who was elected in August on a campaign pledge to help the poor, is feeling the heat.

However, government officials and political opponents have harshly attacked his initiatives, claiming that the cost of living is already too expensive.

According to a witness, police fired tear gas to disperse a mob of around 500 people who marched to parliament to submit a petition against the move.

Police were seen apprehending eleven demonstrators. Officers dressed in civilian clothing were observed in downtown Nairobi hauling an activist with a sign that said, “Colonialism never really ended.”

Ruto has defended the plan, arguing that its elements are required to provide financial stability and create jobs for young people via the building of new residences paid for by a housing levy. The law will most likely be voted on next week; it would raise taxes on digital content.

The opposition Azimio La Umoja (Declaration of Unity) party, which has been at the forefront of anti-government protests since March due to high living costs and allegations of election fraud from the previous year, has claimed that the measure will return the country to the 1980s when the economy first began to collapse.

Attempts by the opposition and the government to have bipartisan discussions in parliament to address the matter failed last week. Their leader, Raila Odinga, has threatened further protests.

The health workers’ union was one of many labor organizations that came out against the initiative last week.



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