Kenya: William Ruto withdraws the contested draft budget !


Wednesday, June 26, 2024-The day after protests which left 22 dead, President William Ruto announces the withdrawal of the 2024-2025 draft budget. Backpedaling. After displaying his firmness and ensuring that “violence and anarchy” would be firmly repressed, Kenyan President William Ruto announced on Wednesday the withdrawal of the 2024-25 draft budget providing for tax increases.

This text, at the origin of a protest which has lasted for several days, was voted on by Parliament on Tuesday June 25, provoking the ire of opponents.
“Having listened carefully to the people of Kenya, who have said loud and clear that they want nothing to do with this 2024 Finance Bill, I bow down and will not sign the 2024 Finance Bill into law, which will therefore be withdrawn,” William Ruto said in a speech the day after a day in which 22 protesters died.
The official human rights body, the Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC), recorded 22 deaths in the country, including 19 in the capital Nairobi, « more than 300 injured and more than 50 arrests », said its president, Roseline Odede, announcing “to open an investigation” into these deaths.
A group of NGOs led by Amnesty Kenya also documented 21 kidnappings of people by “uniformed or plainclothes officers” in the previous 24 hours.
The Kenyan police did not react to these accusations. “Tomorrow we march peacefully again wearing white, for all of our fallen. You will not be forgotten!!! » called one of the figures of the protest movement, in memory of the victims of Tuesday’s mobilization. Blood on the road Kenya was still in shock on Wednesday from this violence, which notably saw demonstrators storm Parliament, a first in the country’s history. In the Nairobi business center, the smell of tear gas still floated in the morning in the streets, the roads of which still bore traces of blood. A large police force, reinforced by the army on Tuesday evening, patrolled the neighborhood. Rallies against the new taxes, mainly led by young people, began peacefully last week, with thousands of demonstrators marching in Nairobi and other cities across the country.
Tension suddenly rose Tuesday afternoon in the center of the capital. According to NGOs, the police fired live ammunition to try to contain the crowd, which forced its way into the Parliament grounds. Buildings were ransacked and partially burned. In Nairobi and several towns, crowds also engaged in looting. Buildings were burned in Eldoret, in the Rift Valley, stronghold of President William Ruto.
“Stop shooting children” The scenes of chaos alarmed the United States and more than a dozen European countries on Tuesday, as well as the UN and the African Union, which declared themselves “deeply concerned” and called for calm. The main opposition coalition, Azimio, led by veteran Raila Odinga, accused the government of « unleashing brute force » against protesters and urged police to « stop shooting innocent, peaceful and unarmed children. »


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