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Kenyan President Ruto rejects and rescinds controversial Finance Bill.

Written by on June 26, 2024

Kenyan President William Ruto has withdrawn and rejected the contentious Finance Bill 2024 amid widespread protests and violence across the country on Tuesday, June 25.

Protesters stormed the National Assembly, setting a section of the parliament building on fire and clashing with police.

Led by youth, the demonstrations erupted following the passage of the Finance Bill 2024, which introduced unpopular tax proposals.

Demonstrators demanded that MPs reject the bill, expressing concerns about its potential economic impact on ordinary citizens.

Despite the government’s efforts to justify the new taxes as necessary for funding spending programs and reducing the debt burden, the protests continued to escalate.

Businesses closed, transportation came to a halt, and clashes between police and demonstrators intensified, with rubber bullets and tear gas deployed to disperse crowds.

In a surprising turn, President Ruto announced on Wednesday, June 26, the withdrawal and rejection of the Finance Bill 2024 in response to the widespread unrest.

During a televised address, he stated, “After carefully listening to the voices of the Kenyan people who have made it clear that they oppose the Finance Bill 2024, I acknowledge their concerns. Therefore, I will not sign the 2024 finance bill, and it will be subsequently withdrawn.”

He further stated, “Following the passage of the bill, the country witnessed widespread dissatisfaction, which tragically led to loss of life, property destruction, and disrespect for constitutional institutions. My heartfelt condolences go to the families affected by these unfortunate events. After thoughtful consideration of the ongoing discourse regarding the contents of the Finance Bill 2024, I have decided not to approve the bill.”

“Therefore, as I pledged earlier, I propose engaging with the youth of our nation to listen to their concerns and collaborate with them on prioritizing areas of focus. Additionally, I recommend convening a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder dialogue within the next 14 days to address the content of the bill and other pertinent issues raised recently, including the necessity for austerity measures and enhancing our anti-corruption efforts.”

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