Skip to content

Nairobi Under Siege as Kenyan Police Move Against Anti-Austerity Protests

As Kenya’s President William Ruto has dug his heels in on an austerity tax plan introduced in May, citizen protests have grown in the capital of Nairobi. Several hundred were arrested on June 18, according to CNN, and police moved to cordon off the capital building—with barricades, and use of tear gas and water cannons—as lawmakers prepared a rubber-stamp vote on the bill on June 19.

The tax package was announced in mid-May, before Ruto’s “historic” visit to the U.S., and immediately drew fire. Proposed taxes heavily targeted the productive economy, with a 2.5% tax on motor vehicles, a 5% withholding tax on infrastructure bonds, and additional taxes on digital banking and transactions. As protests have grown, the Ruto administration has defensively tried to “sweeten” the bitter pill by taking the most offensive taxes out of the bill, but to no avail.

This post is for paying subscribers only


Already have an account? Sign In