Skip to Content

Demonstrators feared dead as protests flare in Kenya over tax hikes

<i>Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Kenyan opposition supporters react and throw stones towards Kenya Police officers during demonstrations in Nairobi
Luis Tato/AFP/Getty Images
Kenyan opposition supporters react and throw stones towards Kenya Police officers during demonstrations in Nairobi

By Nimi Princewill, CNN

(CNN) — Some demonstrators were reportedly killed in clashes with Kenya’s security forces on Wednesday after protests flared for the second time in a week over a raft of unpopular tax hikes proposed by the national government, an opposition leader told CNN.

Protests broke out across Kenya, including the capital Nairobi, where Opiyo Wandayi, who leads the opposition in Kenya’s parliament told CNN that demonstrators railing against the tax hikes were forcefully dispersed by police.

“I was involved in the Nairobi protests. We were dispersed with water cannons, tear gas canisters, and live bullets,” Wandayi said.

He told CNN protesters were killed during the nationwide clashes.

“We are still verifying but so far, we have confirmed nine deaths across the country. The numbers might increase because there were many people with fatal injuries.”

CNN has not confirmed these numbers and has reached Kenyan police for a comment.
Kenyan media also reported casualties from the protests on Wednesday afternoon.

According to CNN affiliate, Citizen TV, at least five demonstrators were killed during confrontations with riot police in the country’s Machakos and Kajiado Counties.

Some of the protesters allegedly pelted stones at public properties and also destroyed a section of a major highway in Machakos’ Mlolongo town, Citizen TV reported.

A steep cost for Kenyans

Kenyan opposition leader and former prime minister Raila Odinga has led calls for nationwide protests over the increases.

Odinga lost the election in August last year and believes the results were manipulated and has since led civil disobedience protests against his political rival.

A Kenyan court temporarily halted the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 touted by President William Ruto as a measure to shore up public finances and increase domestic revenue.

However, the Ruto administration defied the court order and increased tax on fuel prices, which has led to a rise in cost of transport and staple goods.

Wandayi told CNN the tax hike has come at a steep cost for many Kenyans.

“Kenyans are basically now on their knees. These new tax proposals have added serious pain to an already difficult situation. Kenyans who are on payroll are taking home negative salaries, and those who are in the informal sector are unable to make ends meet,” he said.

“Many Kenyans are unable to put three meals on the table in a day, and they are very angry at the situation as it is currently.”

™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Europe/Mideast/Africa

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content