Kenya is presently encountering protests as citizens express their displeasure and frustration over tax hikes and the increasing cost for living. The demonstrations, organized by opposition leader Raila Odinga, have brought conflicts among protests and security forces, leading to several deaths and injuries. The situation highlights the deepening economic hardships faced by many Kenyans and their disappointment with the government’s handling of the situation.
Sources Related Kenya (For R&D)
- Everything You Need to know about Kenya
- The World Bank in Kenya
- The Official Website of the President of the Republic of Kenya
- The Kenyan Parliament Website
The protests were triggered by a series of tax hikes proposed by the government as a part of the Finance Act 2023. The government argued that these actions were important to address the country’s mounting debt and create job opportunities.
Numerous Kenyans viewed these tax increases as exacerbating their already precarious financial situation. The execution of the tax hikes, especially on fuel costs, led to a surge in transportation costs and the prices of essential goods, further stressing family financial plans.
Protests and Clashes between People and Police in Kenya
Protests broke out across the country, with demonstrators rampaging in different urban areas, including the capital, Nairobi. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, who lost the presidential election in 2022, has been at the front of the demonstrations, calling for civil disobedience and nationwide protests. The protestors voiced their discontent with the government’s economic policies and demanded the repeal of the tax hikes.
The protests immediately turned violent as conflicts erupted among demonstrators and security forces. Reports shows that the police utilized water cannons, disperse gas canisters, and even live ammunition to disperse the crowds.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of multiple fatalities, although the exact number remains unconfirmed. Human rights organizations have criticized the excessive use of force by the police, calling for investigations into allegations of brutality.
The tax hikes and rising cost of living have taken a severe toll on the average Kenyan citizen. Numerous people, especially those working in the Formal Sector, are struggling to earn a living wage, with some unable to manage the cost of basic necessities.
The increased taxation rate has prompted negative compensations for some employees, increasing their financial difficulties. The Formal Sector, which is a huge piece of the Kenyan economy, has likewise been seriously impacted, with laborers facing declining income and reducing purchasing power.
The protests reflect the deep disappointment and frustration among the Kenyan people, who feel that their voices are not being heard and that their economic concerns are being disregarded. The protests act as a way for citizens to communicate their disappointment with the government’s policies and demand meaningful change to improve their living conditions.
President William Ruto’s administration has faced criticism for opposing a court request to end the execution of the tax hikes. The government argues that these actions are essential for addressing the country’s economic challenges and debt burden. However, the decision to disregard the court’s ruling has further fueled public discontent and led to accusations of an authoritarian approach.
The interior ministry has condemned the protests, highlighting the violence, looting, and destruction of public and private property. The government has promised to get serious about these activities and keep up with the rule of law. The police chief has issued warnings against future demonstrations, emphasizing that they must be officially notified in advance, as required by law.
Top Sources Regarding Kenya’s Protest (For R&D)
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