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‘Occupy Parliament’: Kenyans to Protest 2024 Finance Bill.

Kenyans are set to take to the streets in Nairobi on Tuesday to protest the proposed tax increases outlined in the 2024 Finance Bill.

Dubbed ‘Occupy Parliament,’ the demonstrations aim to pressure lawmakers to reject the bill, which will be considered by the House on the same day. The protests have gained significant traction online, with Kenyans sharing posters and guidelines for the demonstrations outside Parliament buildings in the central business district.

On Monday, flyers were distributed in the central business district urging citizens to “rise against over-taxation by Zakayo,” a nickname given to President William Ruto due to his aggressive tax policies since taking office in 2022.

Activist Boniface Mwangi told journalists that the protest will kick off at 11 a.m., ahead of Parliament’s session at 2 p.m. According to the posters circulated on social media, protesters will be dressed in black and have been advised to remain calm and avoid violence, abusive language, and destruction of property.

Meanwhile, National Assembly Majority Whip Sylvanus Osoro announced that the National Assembly Finance Committee is considering amending clauses related to the proposed taxes on bread, vegetable oils, motor vehicle circulation, and levies on internet and money transfer services.

The controversial bill, sponsored by Molo MP Kimani Kuria, seeks to amend various legislations including the Income Tax Act, the Value Added Tax Act, the Excise Duty Act, the Tax Procedures Act, and the Miscellaneous Fees and Levies Act. Other affected laws include 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 public participation process, which concluded on June 10, over 600 stakeholders appeared before the Finance Committee, chaired by Kuria, to present their views. Despite the Treasury’s goal to raise an additional Ksh.300 billion through these taxes, opinion polls indicate that a large majority of Kenyans oppose the bill.


Article By Suzy Nyongesa.


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