More protests expected in Kenya despite tax reversal by Ruto

More protests expected in Kenya despite tax reversal by Ruto
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More protests expected in Kenya despite tax reversal by Ruto

Kenyan police set up roadblocks on streets leading to the presidential villa on Thursday as some protesters vowed to “occupy State House,” despite President William Ruto’s reversal on proposed tax hikes that had sparked a week of demonstrations.

  • Kenyan police set up roadblocks near the presidential palace due to protests
  • President William Ruto reversed proposed tax hikes after a week of demonstrations
  • Some protesters continue to demand President Ruto’s resignation

There has been an ongoing protest in Kenya against the unpopular tax bill which was recently introduced. The controversial tax proposal has sparked widespread resentment in the country, particularly amongst the country’s youth.

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According to Al Jazeera, heavy security deployment is underway today, with police firing tear gas at a group of protesters attempting to gather. Protesters have begun chanting “Ruto must go” at soldiers patrolling Nairobi’s central business district.

heavy security deployment
heavy security deployment

Ruto is presently facing the most serious crisis of his two-year tenure as the youth-led protest movement has rapidly evolved from online condemnations of the tax hikes into mass rallies demanding a political overhaul, Reuters reported.

However, the movement’s lack of a formal leadership structure has left protest supporters divided on how far to carry the demonstrations.

Boniface Mwangi, a prominent social justice activist voiced support for demonstrations on Thursday but opposed calls to invade State House, the president’s formal offices and residence, warning that such a move could spur more violence and be used to justify a crackdown.

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heavy security deployment
heavy security deployment

“Right now is not about just the finance bill but about #RutoMustGo,” political activist and protester Davis Tafari told Reuters. “We have to make sure that Ruto and his MPs have resigned and fresh elections are held … We occupy State House for dignity and justice.”

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the port city of Mombasa and in the western city of Kisumu, according to local television footage, though those gatherings appeared peaceful.

While some protest supporters decided not to demonstrate on Thursday following the scrapping of the finance bill, others vowed to continue, insisting that only President Ruto’s resignation would satisfy their demands.

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