Protests in Kenya over tax hikes enter Day 3

Protests in Kenya over tax hikes enter Day 3

IMF supports new tax measures despite opposition protests, advises firmness on tax measures

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - Mass protests entered their third day in Kenya over tax hikes.

The protests cooled down on Friday, but isolated clashes between police and stone-throwing demonstrators still persist.

Footage on television showed police attempting to quell the unrest using tear gas, water cannons and live bullets.

The demonstrations, sparked by frustrations over the cost of living and tax hikes, have brought significant disruptions to daily life and resulted in clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is supporting President William Ruto's new tax hikes despite mounting opposition stating in the July Risk Assessment Matrix that Kenya should "remain committed to reforms under the program."

Amid the chaos, the opposition has made serious allegations, claiming that deputy leader Kalonzo Musyoka had been "detained" at his home by police, allegedly to prevent him from joining the ongoing nationwide protests in the past two days.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Raila Odinga, who had called for the three-day weekly street protests, has been unable to participate due to a "bad flu" that has kept him sidelined.

"I am currently under the weather, battling a strong strain of flu, hence keeping off public engagements and all meetings," Odinga said on Friday

The economic impact of the protests is also taking a toll on the manufacturing sector, with the Manufacturers Association of Kenya reporting on Friday daily losses of up to $20.1 million.

The ongoing unrest has also disrupted supply chains and affected production, adding further strain to an already challenging economic climate.

As the protests intensify, more than 60 demonstrators appeared before the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Friday, facing legal consequences for their participation in the opposition-led demonstrations.

With tensions remaining high and protests showing no signs of abating, the nation remains on the edge, awaiting a resolution that could ease the widespread discontent and restore calm to the streets.

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