Kenyan Protests Turn Violent as Over 200 Demonstrators Arrested Amid Opposition to New Tax Hikes


Police in Nairobi, Kenya, arrested over 200 people protesting against proposed tax increases in a finance bill, which aims to raise $2.7 billion for the government and reduce its budget deficit. The bill has been met with widespread opposition, with several tax increase proposals being dropped after Tuesday’s protests, including a 16% value-added tax on bread and a 2.5% tax on motor vehicle insurance.

The protests, which were initially peaceful, turned violent on Thursday, with police using force to disperse the crowds. Several organizations, including Amnesty Kenya and the Kenya Law Society, reported that their members were detained or tear-gassed while observing the protests. The Media Council of Kenya also complained that journalists were subjected to “arbitrary arrests and attacks” while covering the event.

The protests have been largely led by young people, who have used social media platforms such as TikTok to mobilize and educate each other about the issues. The protesters have also largely refrained from appeals to political or ethnic tribalism, instead focusing on bringing all Kenyans together to oppose the tax increases.

The Kenyan government has been accused of using TikTok to influence youth movements, and President William Ruto has been criticized for his government’s handling of the protests. The protests have continued to grow, with demonstrators calling for Ruto’s resignation and demanding that the government reject the finance bill entirely.

The Kenyan parliament is currently scheduled to vote on the finance bill on June 27. Some of the remaining unpopular proposals include tax hikes on phone and Internet usage, higher fees for money transfers and financial services, and higher taxes for online businesses like ridesharing services.

John Hayward
John Hayward
I'm a conservative because there is so much about the American tradition that is worth conserving.

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