Kenya: Ruto bows to pressure, backs down on tax hikes after deadly unrest


After days of deadly unrest that claimed at least 23 lives, Kenyan President William Ruto on Wednesday backdown on planned tax hikes.

He has decided not to go ahead with the new taxes despite parliament approving them on Tuesday.

The passage of the tax bills on Tuesday sparked anger as protesters stormed parliament, triggering demonstrations across the country.

The president’s decision is seen as victory for young people who have led protest movement since last week.

Ruto said he would not sign the finance bill including the tax increases.

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“Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this finance bill 2024, I concede. And therefore, I will not sign the 2024 finance bill, and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” he said in a televised address.

Ruto was elected in 2022 after promising to deal with corruption and fix the country’s shore economic situation to benefit the poor.

Recent push back from citizens is testing Ruto’s resolve and plans for fixing the economy as he claims the new tax bill is key to building the nation.


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