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Kenyans head to parliament protesting against the finance bill

Kenyans head to parliament protesting against the finance bill


Kenyans are on Tuesday set to take to the streets in Nairobi to protest the proposed increase in taxes through the Finance Bill 2024.

Dubbed ‘Occupy Parliament’, the demonstrations are meant to pressure lawmakers against passing the bill which the House will consider on Tuesday.

Kenyans online have been rallying around the protests, sharing posters and guidelines ahead of the demos outside Parliament buildings in the central business district.

On Monday, flyers were being distributed in the central business district urging citizens to “rise against over-taxation by Zakayo,” a reference to the moniker Kenyans have given President William Ruto over his tax push since he took office in 2022.

Activist Boniface Mwangi on Monday told journalists that the protest will kick off at 11 am, ahead of Parliament’s session at 2 p.m.

Per the posters circulated on social media, protesters will be dressed in black and a code of conduct has been issued calling for, among others, staying calm, as well as refraining from violence, abusive language and destruction of property.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro has said that the National Assembly Finance Committee is considering amending the clauses proposing more tax on bread and vegetable oils, the proposed motor vehicle circulation tax, and levy on internet and money transfer services.

The unpopular bill is sponsored by Molo MP Kimani Kuria and it seeks to amend various legislations such as the Income Tax Act, the Value Added Tax Act, the Excise Duty Act, the Tax Procedures Act and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act.

Others are the Affordable Housing Act, the Industrial Training Act, the Data Protection Act, the Public Finance Management Act, and the Kenya Revenue Authority Act.

During the draft law’s public participation process which closed on June 10, over 600 stakeholders appeared before the Finance Committee – which the bill’s sponsor Kuria chairs – to present their views.

Treasury seeks to raise Ksh.300 billion more through taxes in the bill, even though opinion polls showed a large majority of Kenyans oppose it.

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