On Wednesday, Kenyan police actively fired tear gas at demonstrators who had gathered despite a ban by authorities in response to a call from the opposition to protest rising prices and new government taxes.
Shops were closed and the capital Nairobi was placed under heavy police surveillance. In the slum of Mathare, the police fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators, who threw stones at them. She also used it to disperse demonstrators in the port city of Mombasa (south).
The day before, Tuesday, the head of the national police had banned the demonstrations called by the opposition, because the latter would not have warned the authorities, and invited the population not to join these “illegal gatherings”.
Last Friday, demonstrations mobilized against the government of President William Ruto took place in several cities at the call of opposition leader Raila Odinga.
The police in Nairobi fired tear gas against Mr. Odinga’s convoy, and they also dispersed rallies in Mombasa (south) and Kisumu (west) with tear gas.
Police have allegedly killed at least three people during these protests, according to hospital and police sources. Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission has demanded a “thorough investigation into all reported cases of “police brutality”.
Raila Odinga’s Azimio alliance intends to organize demonstrations every week against the policy pursued by the government of William Ruto. Mr. Odinga, who lost the August 2022 presidential election to his rival, assures us that the election was “stolen” from him.
At the beginning of July, President Ruto promulgated a finance law that introduces a series of new taxes, despite criticism from the opposition and the population of this country affected by high inflation.
The text provides in particular an increase in VAT on fuel from 8 to 16%, as well as an unpopular levy on wages to finance a low-cost housing program. Initially planned at 3%, it was reduced to 1.5%.