Kenyan Parliament Set Ablaze Amid Violent Protests Over New Tax Laws

Chinwe Okafor
3 Min Read
Kenyan Parliament Set Ablaze Amid Violent Protests Over New Tax Laws

Part of the Kenyan parliament is on fire after protesters opposed to new tax laws breached the complex where the building sits.

Hundreds of protesters have entered the complex, live TV pictures are showing. Dense clouds of tear gas can be seen engulfing the parliament as police try to push them out.

Until a few minutes ago, MPs were debating the controversial finance bill before passing it.

Several people are feared dead from the clashes between police and protesters.

A paramedic has told the Reuters news agency that at least 10 protesters have been killed so far.

The death toll is likely to rise as police continue to battle the protesters inside and outside parliament.

Ambulances can be seen carrying the injured from the streets.

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For several weeks, Kenyans have been protesting over a finance bill that proposed tax rises. Many felt that they were already burdened with a high cost of living.

Reporters have seen bodies on the street and witnessed police throwing tear gas at protesters.

Some MPs are reportedly sheltering in the parliament’s basement after they passed a finance bill that seeks to introduce new taxes.

Protests are also taking place in other parts of Kenya, as anger surges over the new measures.

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The government has said that it needs to increase the money it gets in order to fund services without increasing the debt burden.

Among the initial proposals were a 16% sales tax on bread and a 25% duty on cooking oil.

According to reports, in response to the outcry, the government rowed back on these and other measures, but an amended bill was passed on Tuesday that still included tax rises.

The eco-levy was maintained that would increase the cost of imported products such as sanitary pads and babies’ nappies – though not on those products made in Kenya.

President William Ruto has acknowledged the protests and promised he would hold talks to address the concerns of the youth who are at the forefront of the demonstrations.

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