‘Occupy Parliament’ Kenyans Rally against 2024 Finance Bill

BySonia Njiru
Published on: Jun 18, 2024 11:06
Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u | Photo Courtesy

Kenyans are gearing up for street protests in Nairobi against the proposed tax increases outlined in the Finance Bill 2024, which they deem oppressive given the current economic conditions. Human rights activists are calling on citizens to assemble in large numbers outside Parliament, framing this as a pivotal moment in history and demanding changes to the bill.

On 17th  Monday, flyers were handed out in the central business district, urging people to “rise against over-taxation by Zakayo,” referring to President William Ruto, who has been associated with aggressive tax policies since taking office in 2022. Activist Boniface Mwangi informed journalists that the protest would begin at 11 a.m., ahead of Parliament's session at 2 p.m.

Boniface also said that President William Ruto has to listen to Kenyans, who are the taxpayers, and have a big say on what affects them.

Social media posters indicate that demonstrators will dress in black and follow a code of conduct that includes remaining calm and avoiding violence, abusive language, and property destruction.

Police, aware of the planned protest, have been instructed to diffuse the demonstration from the outset, meaning they will break up any groups that form in the city. They advised motorists to plan their routes carefully from midday to avoid potential disruptions, which may include an increased police presence and roadblocks, especially on Parliament Road.

The Finance Bill 2024 has faced significant opposition due to several contentious proposals, such as a 16% VAT on bread, a 2.5% motor vehicle circulation tax, and higher costs for mobile money transfers, airtime, and internet data. Concerns have also been raised about the eco levy environmental tax, which could increase prices for plastic packaging, batteries, and hygiene products.

National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro has indicated that the Finance Committee is considering amendments to reduce taxes on bread and vegetable oils, the proposed motor vehicle tax, and levies on internet and money transfer services.

Leave a Comment..


No comments yet...