Kenya's youth rise against tax hikes in nationwide protests

Kenya's youth rise against tax hikes in nationwide protests

Generation Z leads demonstrations in major cities, demanding relief from rising cost of living- Demonstrations met with heavy police presence, which used tear gas to disperse them- 'This bill is a death sentence for us, it will make our already miserable lives harder to deal with, we cannot have every basic commodity being expensive,' protester tells Anadolu

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Kenyan youth on Thursday took a strong stand against the proposed Finance Bill 2024, flooding the streets of Nairobi and other major cities in a wave of protests.

Streets in Nairobi's Central Business District were choked with tear gas and awash with water from police water cannons as thousands of protesters engaged the police in running battles.

Kenya’s Generation Z protesters rallied against the proposed finance bill, which they argue will deepen the cost of living crisis by imposing new taxes on a range of essential goods.

Dressed in youthful attire such as jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and trendy sneakers, their faces showed a mix of anger, frustration, hope, and determination.

Despite the chaos and the acrid sting of tear gas in the air, their message was clear: they would not be silenced, and continue to fight for a more equitable society.

Protesters, predominantly from Generation Z, Kenya’s young generation, marched through Nairobi's Central Business District, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Nakuru, causing significant traffic disruptions.

The demonstrations were met with a heavy police presence, which used tear gas to disperse them.

"This bill is a death sentence for us, it will make our already miserable lives harder to deal with, we cannot have every basic commodity being expensive" Mwangi Kiangai, a young demonstrator, exclaimed while speaking with Anadolu, echoing the sentiments of many.

A foreign journalist was injured and rushed to the hospital after being struck in the face by a tear gas canister allegedly fired by police, according to witnesses at the scene.

The journalist sustained facial injuries.

As the protests raged on Kenyan lawmakers on Thursday were engaged in the second reading of the Finance Bill 2024 in parliament.

The debate in parliament focuses on the proposed tax increases included in the bill, which have sparked widespread protests and public outcry due to concerns about exacerbating the high cost of living.

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