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EDITORIAL Kenya’s Tax Hike Protests: A Warning to Africa’s Repressive Regimes

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The streets of Kenya are bleeding, and the blood is on the hands of President William Ruto’s repressive government.

The recent protests against the financial bill, which imposes draconian taxes on already struggling citizens, have been met with brutal force, leaving 13 dead and many injured.

With a staggering 54.03 million population and a $113.4 billion GDP, Kenya’s economy is riddled with inequality and debt.

The government’s own statistics reveal a staggering 35% poverty rate, with millions struggling to survive on less than $2 a day.

The Mzalendo report exposes the Ruto government’s broken promises, with only 13 out of 120 campaign pledges fulfilled.

Despite campaigning on a pro-worker platform, the government has reneged on its promises, leaving Kenyans to suffer the consequences of its failed policies.

The protests are a testament to the frustration and despair of Kenyans, who face skyrocketing food and fuel prices, high unemployment, and a crippling debt burden.

The government’s attempt to impose further taxes on essentials like sanitary pads and fuel is a cruel joke, exacerbating the suffering of an already beleaguered population.

This tragic event serves as a stark warning to other African leaders who think they can ignore the voices of their people and impose harsh policies without consequence.

The masses must always be consulted when laws are being incubated, lest they face the wrath of the people.

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) policies have failed Africa, undermining growth and perpetuating poverty. Kenya’s situation is a prime example, with the IMF’s recommendations exacerbating the country’s debt vulnerabilities.

Kenya is neck-deep in foreign debts, and wishes to use draconian taxes of citizens to level up. Of what benefit was such loans to an average Kenyan on the street?

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African leaders must learn from Kenya’s crisis. They must prioritize their citizens’ welfare, foster democratic values, and implement homegrown policies that benefit their economies.

The era of oppressive regimes and draconian policies must come to an end.

It’s time for true democratic values to take root in Africa.


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