Kenya Government Faces Backlash: Violent Protests Over Tax Bill

As the government votes on a contentious finance bill on Thursday, violent altercations between demonstrators and police started in Nairobi, Kenya.

Since Thursday morning, Parliament has been closed off and the surrounding roads are blocked while legislators discuss the Finance Bill inside. Proposed tax increases have stoked anger in the East African country, which has battled with growing living expenses.

In Nairobi’s city center, police are using water cannons and tear gas to disperse peaceful protestors.

Since Tuesday, the controversial bill has been the subject of protests and criticism, forcing the government to revise it in response to dozens of demonstrators who staged a demonstration outside the nation’s parliament building.

According to a statement from Kenya’s presidency, two of the levies that were postponed were a 2.5% tax on motor vehicles and a 16% value-added tax on bread.

Along with the proposed levies on vegetable oil, a proposed hike in mobile money transfer costs was also shelved. Taxes on locally made goods have also been removed, including sanitary towels and diapers.

Read Also: Kenyan Authorities Backtrack on Tax Bill Amid Nationwide Protests

However, the modifications have not appeased the demonstrators, who have demanded that the law be abandoned entirely.

At least 283 people were arrested in Nairobi early on Tuesday, including journalists covering the demonstrations, according to civil society organizations.

Gen Zs, or young Kenyans, claim to be fighting for their future and are spreading their message via social media sites like TikTok.

The app, which is well-known for its brief but interesting films, has changed from being a place for pleasure to one for political and social activism.

The ability for activists to broadcast live from protest locations, give real-time updates, and capture any incidents of police brutality or overreach on TikTok has been essential to the success of the protests.


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