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Protests Persist In Kenya, With Calls For President Ruto’s Resignation

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Protesters in Nairobi Kenya, 02/07/2024

Protests continue to rock Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, and other parts of the country, despite President William Ruto’s assurance that he will not sign the controversial finance bill that has sparked widespread unrest.

The bill, which would increase the cost of living, has been met with fierce resistance from Kenyans who are already struggling with high unemployment and rising prices.

On Tuesday, protesters blocked the busy Nairobi-Mombasa highway, lit bonfires, and clashed with police, who responded with tear gas.

Many businesses remain closed, fearing looting and violence.

The protests have so far claimed 39 lives, according to the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, with the president putting the death toll at 19.

Some protesters are now calling for President Ruto’s resignation, accusing him of bad governance and failing to address the country’s economic woes.

However, others have expressed concerns that the protests are being hijacked by opportunistic individuals seeking to cause chaos.

The president has offered to engage in dialogue with Kenyan youth and has promised to cut budget allocations for travel and hospitality for his office, in line with some of the protesters’ demands.

However, the youthful and leaderless protest movement has expressed skepticism about the president’s sincerity, citing his luxurious lifestyle and that of other senior officials as a stark contrast to the struggles of ordinary Kenyans.

Economist Ken Gichinga has urged the government to adopt a different approach to tax reforms, one that will stimulate economic growth and address the high unemployment rate, particularly among the youth.

The main opposition party has also called on the government to take responsibility for the deaths that occurred during last week’s protests.

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The protests have entered their third week, with no signs of abating.

The situation remains tense, with many Kenyans calling for change and demanding a better future for themselves and their country.


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