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Protests spread across Kenya due to hike in tax prices

Three people were killed as of July 8 in Kenya after the masses took to the streets for a spike in taxes. On July 7, the Members of the National Assembly announced the Financial Bill of 2023. Opposition leader Raila Odinga called for the protest against the rise in prices which were made at a time when the price of basic commodities are high.

The Kenyan police broke into running battles and fired tear gas onto the opposition supporters who were a part of the protest that took place across the country. The police arrested 17 people in the country’s capital, Nairobi. 11 other activists were arrested in other towns, as stated by a coalition of human rights. A group of 10 watchdogs asked for an investigation into the police conduct as they witnessed “protestors being dragged on the ground.” The police have made no comments on this report yet.

The High Court in Kenya has suspended the tax inflation for the moment but the government has increased the petrol prices on the other hand, which further enraged the people. The government said that the tax hikes were intended to deal with their growing debt repayments and to fund various job-creation initiatives. The hike was expected to raise extra $1.42 a year to East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya.

Odinga who addressed about 2000 supporters said that it was a failure on the part of President William Ruto as he failed to handle the country’s high standard of living.

“Members of the Parliament have betrayed the people,” Odinga said, claiming that Ruto has always acted away from his promises.

Post the elections, which Ruto won in August 2022, the two men have clashed over several issues on high cost living and upcoming elections management.

The increase in petrol prices in place of the High Court’s suspension of tax hike has driven the opposition senator who previously lodged a case seeking arrest of the head of the energy sector regulator  for contempt.

Television channels broadcasted clips of police firing tear gas to dismiss the protestors in Mombasa, the western city of Kisumu and town of Kisii. The opposition party coalition plans to stage a rally at Nairobi’s Kamukunji ground and protest nationwide on July 12.


Image source: Mint

Edited by: Nandini Roy

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