• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Photos: Gen-Z Kenyans take over streets to protest tax hike

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Young Kenyans, frustrated by rising living costs and proposed tax hikes, flooded the streets across the country on Thursday.

Dubbed “Occupy Parliament,” the protests were sparked by the government’s Finance Bill 2024, which included a variety of new taxes.

protest in Kenya
Kenyan protesters running away from protest site as security agents shoot tear gas in Nairobi

The demonstrations, led by Gen-Z activists, began in Nairobi on Tuesday and quickly spread nationwide.

This outburst of discontent reflects Kenyans’ growing disapproval of President William Ruto’s economic policies.

Following clashes between police and hundreds of young people on Tuesday, the government offered concessions, scrapping some proposed tax increases.

Among amendments are the scrapping of a proposed 16 % VAT on bread, taxes on foreign exchange transactions and financial services, as well as a 2.5 % Motor Vehicle tax.

However, they intend to pursue some hikes, arguing they are necessary to bolster the national treasury and reduce reliance on foreign loans.

Thousands of protestors converged in major cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, and Kisumu. Despite a heavy police presence and roadblocks, demonstrators gathered near parliament, which debated the bill on Wednesday.

They chanted slogans against President Ruto and used whistles and vuvuzelas to express their frustration.

First-time protestors like Ivy, a 26-year-old job seeker, expressed fear for their future due to the proposed bill. “It’s going to break us,” she told AFP.

Bella, a recent graduate, echoed this sentiment, criticising the government’s concessions as insufficient.

More photos below:

Security officers confronting Kenyan protesters June 20, 2024
Security officers confronting Kenyan protesters June 20, 2024
Kenyans demonstrating during the ‘Occupy Parliament’ protest against tax hike

Kenyan Gen Zs protesting 'unfair' tax policies in Nairobi Kenyan protesters in Nairobi June 20, 2024 Kenyan protesters in Nairobi June 20, 2024