Home Uncategorized Kenya prez backs down on tax hikes after unrest leaves 23 dead

Kenya prez backs down on tax hikes after unrest leaves 23 dead


NAIROBI: Kenyan Prez William Ruto on Wednesday withdrew planned tax hikes, bowing to pressure from protesters who had stormed parliament, launched demonstrations across the country and threatened more action this week.
The move will be seen as a major victory for a week-old, youth-led protest movement that grew from online condemnations of tax rises into mass rallies demanding a political overhaul, in the most serious crisis of Ruto’s 2-year-old presidency.
But some demonstrators said on social media that despite Ruto’s climbdown they would go ahead with a rally planned for Thursday, with many reiterating demands that he resign.
Ruto announced he would not sign a finance bill including the tax increases, a day after violent clashes between police and protesters at the assembly and nationwide left at least 23 people dead and scores wounded, according to medics.
“Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this finance bill 2024, I concede. And therefore, I will not sign the 2024 finance bill, and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” he said in a televised address with lawmakers.
Ruto said he would now start a dialogue with Kenyan youth, without going into details, and work on austerity measures – beginning with cuts to the budget of the presidency – to make up the difference in the country’s finances.

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