Kenya: Objectors To The Finance Measure Are Blocking Streets

Kenya: Objectors To The Finance Measure Are Blocking Streets

In a protest against proposed tax increases in a finance package that is being presented in parliament, Kenyans took to the streets of Nairobi again on Thursday night, demolishing CCTV cameras, lighting tires on fire, and closing down traffic.

Tear gas was used to disperse the crowds following earlier on Thursday skirmishes between police and protesters.

The Kenyan Constitution guarantees the right to peaceful protests, but organizers must give advance notice to the police. Generally, police give the all-clear unless there are security issues.

Similar protests on Tuesday resulted in the detention of almost 200 protestors.

Following a meeting between parliamentarians from the ruling party and Kenyan President William Ruto on Tuesday morning, several of the bill’s most significant tax measures were removed.

Kuria Kimani, the chair of the finance committee, announced that the plan to impose a 16% value-added tax on bread had been shelved.

Additional taxes that sparked discussion and were later changed included a 2.5% yearly motor vehicle tax that was supposed to be added to insurance.

To promote domestic manufacture, a proposed levy on products that harm the environment would also be modified to solely apply to imports.

Last month, Ruto justified the planned levies, arguing that the nation needs to be able to support itself financially.

With a vote on the bill set for Monday, legislators began debating it on Wednesday.

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