Kenya, Attack on Parliament: Protests Against Tax Hikes

Protests are gaining momentum in Kenya, where thousands of protesters attacked parliament in Nairobi on June 25. The protests erupted after a new financial law was passed to tighten the tax burden.

There have been protests over the proposed law for days now, with thousands of young demonstrators gathering in the country’s main squares. President William Ruto said he is willing to talk to the protesters: “Our youth have come forward to take up the affairs of their country. They have done their democratic duty to rise up and be recognized. I am proud of them,” while reiterating the need to raise taxes to give state coffers a break and reduce dependence on foreign loans.

But he failed to stop the protest to such an extent that today, after the law was passed, demonstrators entered parliament and set it on fire, causing some MPs to flee and others, members of the opposition, to join the protests. At least 50 people were injured in clashes with police, who fired tear gas and also opened fire in an attempt to disperse the crowd. According to a Kenyan website, eight people were killed, other sources speak about fewer casualties.

Besides Nairobi, protests are taking place in the towns of Nakuru, Kisumu, Nyeri, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kwale, Kisii, Kakamega, Narok, Hola, and Turkana.