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No further tax-hike protests in Kenya will be allowed according to President William Ruto. This is following Raila Odinga’s party arrangement for three additional days of protest against the tax increase by the current administration.
Recently, the opposition leader, Raila Odinga’s party called for three additional days of protest against the tax increase by President William Ruto which was signed into law last month. The protest is scheduled to commence on the 19th of this month.
However, the president has vowed to prevent the protests, due to the adverse consequences of the two previous rounds of demonstrations that claimed the life of at least 15 people.
No Further Tax-Hike Protests in Kenya Will Be Allowed: More Perspectives
Over 300 people were arrested in the aftermath of last week’s rallies, and the president has planned to stop any additional protests.
He mentioned that he would not allow any demonstration that would lead to loss of lives and damage of property, while pointing out that elections ended August 9, 2022, and no one will be allowed to use extrajudicial or extra-constitutional means to acquire power in Kenya.
President Ruto defeated Odinga in the previously concluded election and promised to see to the basic needs of the people. However, his critics have stated that the tax increase will instead achieve the opposite.
Odinga wasn’t able to win the last five presidential votes but has managed to get senior positions in government in the past by striking deals with those in power after outbursts of turmoils.
He claims the presidential election was “hijacked”, which was why he arranged several protests this year against a government which he said is illegitimate and culpable for a cost-of-living crisis.
Although he hasn’t revealed how he would go about it, Ruto has vowed to stop the upcoming protests.
Last week, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), an independent watchdog created by parliament, ordered an investigation into reports of looting, vandalism and police brutality.
According to the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, each day of protest costs the economy at least 3 billion shillings.
A spokesman for the U.N. Human Rights Office (OHCHR), Jeremy Laurence, mentioned last week Friday that there are concerns regarding the widespread violence and accusations of unwarranted use of force, including the use of firearms by police during protests in Kenya.
These protests have often been violent, with protesters throwing rocks at police and damaging public property.
The authorities have blamed the loss of lives on the protesters.
Kenyans express indignation over tax hikes
On the 26th of June, 2023, Kenyan President signed Finance Bill 2023 which includes tax hikes, into law.
The decision was however met with numerous outbursts of indignation from the opposition party and Kenyans in general.
Kenya’s opposition party, which is led by Raila Odinga, expressed rage over the decision and vowed to implement numerous protests.
According to Odinga’s spokesman, Denis Onyango, the party stands against this move and will do whatever it takes to stop it from moving forward.
There have been numerous posts on various social media platforms condemning the tax increases and criticizing President Ruto’s decision.
Many are saying that the tax hikes will make things more expensive and ordinary citizens will be the ones to suffer the consequences.
The opposition argues that the new law has negative effects on the economy and worsens the challenges already faced by many Kenyans.
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