Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

Protesters broke through police barricades

Kenya President Bends to Pressure، Scraps $2.3 Billion Tax Plan

Wednesday 26/June/2024 - 06:29 PM
أصول مصر

Kenyan President William Ruto said he’s withdrawing a contentious tax bill، bowing to public pressure after deadly protests against the plan to raise $2.3 billion in new levies led to the deaths of at least 23 people.

“I concede،” Ruto said in a televised address on Wednesday. “I run a government but I also lead people. And the people have spoken.”

On Tuesday، lawmakers in his ruling coalition pushed through the so-called Finance Bill، albeit with some concessions. 

Deploying the army

Protesters broke through police barricades and stormed the National Assembly just after lawmakers approved the legislation. Ruto in a defiant speech hours later termed the action treasonous and said he’d deploy the military to quell further violence. His reversal comes after his predecessor Uhuru Kenyatta and civil society leaders asked him to talk to protesters. 

Most of the protesters are young Kenyans in their 20s and 30s and have been mobilizing on social media platforms. While past anti-government marches were mostly organized by opposition politicians، the current rallies seem to be organic and largely peaceful — but they have been met by police firing live rounds، tear gas and powerful water cannons.