Kenya Finance Bill sparks protests, calls for Ruto’s resignation

The Kenyan Finance Bill 2024 has sparked days of unrest in the country, with protesters demanding for President Ruto’s resignation.

Violence erupted during what was planned as a peaceful demonstration against the Finance Bill.

The Kenya Finance Bill 2024 is a legislative proposal by the Government of Kenya ‘aimed at increasing taxes to address the country’s budgetary needs.’

The bill includes various tax hikes that have sparked widespread criticism and protests across the nation, particularly among younger Kenyans who are concerned about the financial burden these increases would impose.

The bill’s rejection led to President William Ruto signing the “Appropriations Bill 2024” into law to mitigate the budget shortfall.

Despite this, the protests have continued, with demonstrators now calling for President Ruto’s resignation.

Kenyans robbed off their rights?

   Kenya protests. Photo by: Standard digital media

According to Article 37 of the Kenyan constitution, every person has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, demonstrate, picket, and present petitions to public authorities.

Protesters took to the streets to protest the bill and urge the President not to assent to it. However, the police reportedly responded with brutal force, using teargas, water cannons, and live ammunition to disperse the peaceful demonstrators. Tragically, several lives were lost, and many others were left with serious injuries.

Reports have also emerged of abductions, including the son of Attorney General Mr. Justin Muturi, who was held incommunicado for 18 hours, and internet personality Gabriel Ogunda. Additionally, part of the Parliament building was set on fire by what the government described as ‘goons’.

The Bible says,
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

A dark day in Kenya: Watch this!

The ‘goons’?

Kenya protests resume as President William Ruto’s tax hike concession fails to quell anger – CBS News

For a long time, Kenyans have been increasingly disgruntled with leaders perceived as untouchable, citing a lack of accountability in governance.

Issues such as waste of public funds, corruption, and seemingly unnecessary and unaccounted-for constructions and repairs of official residences have been sources of public anger. The Standard newspaper reported on 25th October 2022, “The government projects to spend 1.6 billion shillings in the coming 2024/2025 financial year to give State Houses and State Lodges a face-lift.”

The Bible says,
Ezekiel 45:9-10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgement and justice, take away your exactions from my people, says the Lord GOD.

Psalm 41:1 Blessed is he that considers the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

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Broken promises

William Ruto

William Ruto

Kenyans are expressing growing discontent with President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, citing unfulfilled promises and perceived governance failures.

During their inauguration on September 13, 2022, at Kasarani Stadium, both leaders swore on the Bible to uphold the law and look after the citizens’ affairs. This solemn vow has resonated strongly with many Christians and Kenyans at large, who now feel disappointed by the leaders’ actions.

The frustration is amplified by the current digital age, where information and communication are readily accessible. Unlike the analogue era, today’s citizens can swiftly access vast amounts of information online, demanding higher levels of transparency and accountability.

The Bible says,
Luke 5:37-39 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined…But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better’.

Ruto concedes

Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday said he would withdraw planned tax rises, bowing to pressure after deadly demonstrations saw protesters storming parliament.

‘I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 finance bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,’ Ruto told a press briefing, adding: ‘The people have spoken.’

The state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said it had recorded 22 deaths and 300 injured victims.

‘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.

Ruto said he would now start a dialogue with Kenyan youth, without going into details, and work on austerity measures – starting with cuts to the budget of the presidency – to make up the difference in the country’s finances.

270 people arrests

At least 270 people were arrested by Kenyan police on Tuesday (July 2nd) after widespread looting reportedly broke out during the anti-government demonstrations.

  Kenyan police at the scene of protest. Cred: Jurist News

Kenyan police said they arrested people ‘masquerading as protesters’ who are suspected of going on a criminal rampage during anti-government rallies.

Widespread looting and property damage was reported during the youth-led demonstrations in various cities across the country.

‘Security forces across the country singled out suspects found engaging in criminal activities in the guise of protesting, and took them to custody,’ the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said in a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, late Tuesday.

It said a total of 204 suspects were arrested in the capital Nairobi and another 68 in various other areas of the country.

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Read and Pray

Exod 18:21; Prov 15:33; Psalm 41:1; Prov 11:14; Matt 25:21 ; Luke 8:17; Rom 12:9-13; Galatians 5:19; Hebrews 13:4; Philip 2:3.
Thank God for Kenya
Pray for the Kenyan government and all the leaders
Pray for peace in Kenya

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