Protestors storm Kenya’s parliament as MPs pass finance bill | ANG
  • July 25, 2024

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Part of Kenya’s parliament building was on fire Tuesday as thousands of protesters against a new finance bill entered and legislators fled, in the most direct assault on the government in decades. Journalists saw at least three bodies outside the complex where police had opened fire.

The protesters had demanded that legislators vote against the controversial bill imposing new taxes on a country where frustrations over the high cost of living have simmered for years.

The protesters outmaneuvered police to enter parliament shortly after legislators voted to pass the bill. Lawmakers fled through a tunnel, but protesters allowed opposition legislators who voted against the bill to walk out of the besieged building.

The office of the Nairobi governor, a member of the ruling party, also was on fire. The office is located near parliament. Police water cannons were being used to extinguish the fire.

Protesters could be heard shouting, “We’re coming for every politician.”

Police officers also fired live ammunition and threw tear-gas canisters at protesters who sought treatment at a medical tent set up at a church near the parliament complex.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission shared a video of officers shooting at protesters and said they would be held to account.

Two people died in similar protests last week.

The Kenya Law Society President Faith Odhiambo said Tuesday that 50 Kenyans, including her personal assistant, had been “abducted” by people believed to be police officers.

Some of those missing included those who were vocal in the demonstrations and were taken away from their homes, workplaces and public spaces ahead of Tuesday’s protests, according to civil society groups.

Police officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment. Parliament Speaker Moses Wetangula had directed the inspector general of police to provide information on the whereabouts of those the opposition said were abducted.

President William Ruto was outside the capital attending an African Union retreat. On Sunday, he said he was proud of the young people who had come out to exercise their democratic duty and said he would engage the youth on their concerns.

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