Government must listen to desperate cry of citizens to avert deadly street protests

Tonny Kyule

The streets of Kenya’s major cities have erupted in protest, as citizens take to the streets to voice their outrage over the controversial new Finance Bill. This legislation, which was recently passed by Parliament, has sparked a firestorm of criticism and ignited a groundswell of public opposition.

At the heart of the issue is a series of new taxes and austerity measures that have placed an unbearable burden on the Kenyan people. The Finance Bill calls for hikes in value-added tax, fuel levies, and other consumer taxes that have led to the cost of living soaring. For a population already struggling with high unemployment and stagnant wages, these additional financial pressures have pushed many families to the brink.

Protesters have angrily decried the government’s tone-deaf approach, accusing lawmakers of prioritizing the interests of the political elite over the welfare of ordinary Kenyans.


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“This bill is nothing more than a naked grab for our hard-earned money,” said Jane Oduor, a small business owner participating in the Nairobi demonstrations. “We’re being asked to tighten our belts even further while the corrupt continue to line their pockets.”

The groundswell of public outrage has rattled the Ruto administration, which has responded with a heavy-handed crackdown. Security forces have fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters and dozens of demonstrators have been arrested on dubious charges. This heavy-handed approach has only served to further inflame tensions and galvanize the opposition.

As the protests continue to grow in size and intensity, the Kenyan government would be wise to heed the cries of its citizens. Rather than doubling down on unpopular austerity measures, the administration should address the root causes of the economic crisis and work to alleviate the burden on struggling Kenyans. Failure to do so risks plunging the country into deeper social and political unrest — an outcome that would devastate the lives of millions. The time has come for Kenya’s leaders to listen to the voices of the demos and enact policies that truly serve the needs of the people.

Tonny Kyule

Kyuel is a Rongo University student in Migori County

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