Kenyans Are Still Protesting, And Some Are Now Calling For President Ruto To Step Down

Kenyans Are Still Protesting, And Some Are Now Calling For President Ruto To Step Down

Following the storming of parliament last week, protests over a budget measure that would increase living expenses persisted in Kenya’s capital and other locations on Tuesday, even after the president declared he would not sign it.

In Nairobi, police used tear gas on demonstrators while many establishments remained closed to prevent looting. Protesters burned bonfires, closing the main route leading to Mombasa, the second-largest city in Kenya.

A few demonstrators are urging President William Ruto to step down and criticizing him of poor leadership, even as there are worries that he might decide to reverse his mind and sign the finance measure before the deadline next week.

However, some protestors headed by young people are concerned that other Kenyans are taking advantage of the instability as a pretext to carry out violent acts. One organizer, Hanifa Farsafi, posted on social networking site X on Tuesday, saying, “Goons have infiltrated.”

The protests last week turned deadly when police opened fire. The Kenya National Human Rights Commission reports that 39 people have died as a result of the two weeks of demonstrations. Ruto estimated that figure at 19 on Sunday.

In response to demands from certain protestors, the president has pledged to reduce travel and hospitality expenses for his office and has extended an invitation to engage in conversation with young Kenyans. The president and other high-ranking officials’ opulent lifestyles have incited criticism despite the persistently high unemployment rate and rising costs.

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