Thursday, September 28, 2023
HomeEconomyKenya schools closed, braces for three days of tax hike protests

Kenya schools closed, braces for three days of tax hike protests

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The Kenyan government closed schools in the capital and two other regions on Wednesday as the East African economic powerhouse prepares for three days of demonstrations against the cost of living, a measure the president said he would not allow.

Earlier this month, two rounds of protests turned violent after police fired tear gas and sometimes live ammunition into crowds. At least 15 people were killed and hundreds were arrested.

The Kenyan opposition has called for protests, in part because President William Ruto’s government passed tax hikes last month. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the prices of basic commodities continued to rise.

Taxes on fuel and housing are expected to require raising an extra 15 billion shillings ($1.4 billion) a year to help cope with growing debt, government says Pay off problems and fund job creation programs.

Churches and civil rights groups called on Ruto and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga to resolve differences through dialogue and call off the protests.

“It is not too late for Azmeo to stop the planned protests and hold talks again.” Stephen Kipchuba Cheboi, Chairman of the Kenya NGO Council (Stephen Kipchumba Cheboi) said in a statement on Tuesday: “Acting in the wider interest of the country. “

Odinga has failed to win the past five presidential elections, but in the past, after riots erupted, he has secured top government positions through agreements with those in power.

On Friday, Ruto accused Odinga of trying to exploit grievances to solve problems.

“We recognize the difficulties many Kenyans face every day, and urge all parties to express their concerns through meaningful dialogue,” a group of 15 foreign embassies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

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