President William Ruto of Kenya firmly expressed his determination on Friday to prohibit any forthcoming protests, following two sets of demonstrations that tragically resulted in the loss of at least 15 lives.
Earlier today, the political party led by opposition leader Raila Odinga issued a call for an additional three days of protests, slated to commence next Wednesday. The protests aim to voice opposition against recent tax increases that were enacted into law by President William Ruto last month.
In the previous August election, President William Ruto emerged victorious over his opponent, Raila Odinga. During his campaign, Ruto committed to championing the cause of the underprivileged. However, critics argue that the recent tax hikes introduced by Ruto’s administration will disproportionately burden ordinary Kenyans who are already grappling with financial challenges, making it even more difficult for them to afford essential commodities like maize flour.
During the inauguration ceremony of a newly constructed road in the town of Naivasha, President William Ruto made a poignant statement denouncing the utilization of violence and chaos as a means to seek political leadership. He emphasized that the elections concluded on August 9th of the previous year, emphasizing that it is unacceptable to pursue leadership in a manner that involves the loss of innocent lives, destruction of property, and the shedding of citizens’ blood.
President William Ruto unequivocally declared that the planned demonstrations would not be permitted. With emphasis, he urged everyone to pay close attention to his words, emphasizing that seeking power in Kenya through extrajudicial and extra-constitutional methods is unacceptable. His message resonated with a firm stance against any attempts to pursue political influence outside the boundaries of the law and established constitutional processes.
Despite his inability to secure victory in the last five presidential elections, Raila Odinga has displayed political acumen by leveraging his influence during periods of turmoil to negotiate prominent positions within the government. By engaging in strategic alliances with those in power, Odinga has effectively positioned himself to hold senior positions within the government, even in the absence of electoral success.
The Kenyan authorities have attributed the casualties to the protesters, highlighting incidents where some individuals engaged in aggressive actions such as throwing rocks at law enforcement officials and causing damage to public property. In response to the Wednesday protests, over 300 individuals have been apprehended and taken into custody. The authorities maintain that these arrests are linked to their involvement in the demonstrations.