Ruto Says Finance Bill Will Be Withdraw Over Kenyan Protest

Kenyan President William Ruto announced on Wednesday that the controversial finance bill proposing tax hikes will be withdrawn. This decision follows widespread protests that resulted in over 20 fatalities and the ransacking of parliament.

In a press briefing, President Ruto acknowledged the public outcry, stating, “I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 finance bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn. The people have spoken.” His reversal marks a significant shift from the government’s previous stance on the bill.

The finance bill, which aimed to increase taxes, had sparked intense opposition due to concerns over its impact on the cost of living. Protesters took to the streets, demanding the bill be scrapped, leading to violent clashes with police and extensive damage to public property.

Despite the bill’s withdrawal, President Ruto highlighted the financial implications of this decision. He warned that the move would result in a substantial funding shortfall for key development programs. These initiatives, critical to supporting farmers, schoolteachers, and other essential sectors, are part of the government’s broader strategy to reduce Kenya’s foreign debt burden.

The government’s attempt to raise revenue through the finance bill was seen as a necessary measure to stabilize the economy. However, the strong public backlash underscored the population’s frustration with rising living costs and economic challenges.

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