Sleepless Night in Kenya: Gen Z lead protests against controversial finance bill

Sleepless Night in Kenya: Gen Z lead protests against controversial finance bill

Kenya experienced a sleepless night on Thursday, June 21st, as Gen Z stormed the streets in anger, protesting against a controversial finance bill that introduced several unpopular tax proposals.

Public outcry erupted when some members of the public and opposition parliamentarians raised concerns over the bill. However, their complaints did not sway the decision made by a majority of members of parliament. This controversial bill, one of the most contentious since President William Ruto took office, passed the second reading stage despite significant opposition. The bill will now move to the next stage, where a committee will consider amendments related to the proposed taxes.

Protests erupted in the streets of Kenya on Tuesday, prompting the government to withdraw some of the contentious provisions, including a 16% tax on bread and an annual 2.5% tax on vehicles . However, these concessions were not enough to quell the anger of the protesters, who demanded that legislators reject the bill entirely.

The protests are being led by young people, known as Generation Z, many of whom were born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s. Social media has become a central platform for discussions, with hashtags like #OccupyParliament and #RejectFinanceBill2024 trending widely.

What is the Finance Bill About?

The finance bill proposes the introduction of new taxes and levies that would increase the price of basic goods. The tax increases are projected to raise 346.7 billion shillings ($2.7 billion), equivalent to 1.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), and reduce the budget deficit from 5.7% to 3.3% of GDP.

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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