Kenyan Protesters Persist in Demanding President Ruto’s Resignation


In Nairobi on Tuesday, Kenyan protesters once again rallied, intensifying their calls for President William Ruto to step down, despite his recent reversal on proposed tax hikes that initially sparked the unrest.

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Ruto’s presidency faces its most serious challenge yet, with a youth-led movement escalating from online criticism over the abandoned tax increases into widespread street demonstrations demanding political change.

Timeline of Key Events:

May 9: Kenya’s National Assembly introduces a finance bill aimed at raising $2.7 billion through additional taxes to reduce the budget deficit and borrowing. The bill undergoes public consultations.

June 13: Finance Minister Njuguna Ndung’u presents the 2024/25 budget in parliament, outlining spending and borrowing plans separate from the finance bill.

June 18: A parliamentary panel recommends scrapping some new taxes proposed in the finance bill, including levies on essentials like bread and car ownership. Hundreds of protesters take to Nairobi’s streets in response.

June 20: Lawmakers debate the finance bill in its second reading while riot police in Nairobi use tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands protesting across the country against the tax hikes.

June 25: Protests turn violent with police firing on demonstrators attempting to storm the legislature in Nairobi, resulting in casualties. Similar clashes erupt in other Kenyan cities and towns, with calls for Ruto’s resignation echoing alongside opposition to the tax rises.

June 26: In a televised address, President Ruto announces he will not sign the finance bill, effectively withdrawing the tax increases. He pledges to initiate dialogue with Kenyan youth and implement austerity measures, starting with cuts to the presidency’s budget.

June 27: Despite Ruto’s announcement, protests continue and escalate, transforming from online condemnations into mass rallies calling for sweeping political reforms. Further clashes with police lead to additional casualties, with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reporting a death toll of 39 since protests began on June 18.

June 28: Protest organizers announce seven days of activism, including nationwide strikes and road blockades scheduled for July 2 and July 4.

July 2: Angered by President Ruto’s defense of police actions and government policies in a televised interview, protesters return to the streets. Police respond with tear gas in Nairobi and demonstrations erupt in other towns nationwide as demands for Ruto’s resignation grow louder.

The protests underscore mounting public dissatisfaction and the depth of challenges facing President Ruto’s administration amid economic discontent and calls for political reform.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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