Kenya: Clashes and Protests Continue Amidst Budget Law Controversy

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
2 Min Read
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A fresh wave of clashes and protests erupted in Kenya on Wednesday, July 19th, as police faced off with demonstrators responding to the call of opposition leader Raila Odinga. The Ministry of Interior reported that at least two people were killed “by gunfire,” and over 300 individuals were arrested during the demonstrations.

Cities like Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu in the west were under heavy police surveillance, but some Kenyans defied the protest ban, resulting in fierce confrontations with authorities. In areas of Nairobi and other cities, clashes ensued, with protesters throwing stones and setting tires ablaze, while police responded with tear gas.

A medical source cited by AFP confirmed that at least two people were killed by gunshot wounds in Kisumu. The Kenyan Media Council decried the “arbitrary” arrests of several journalists and expressed deep concern as a police officer disguised as a journalist was seen arresting a protester, endangering media personnel’s safety.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga did not appear publicly, but his coalition decried a series of arrests within its ranks, including that of the spokesperson. Meanwhile, President William Ruto maintained a busy schedule, accusing his former presidential rival of attempting to sow “chaos.”

The country experienced a slowdown in activity, with numerous businesses remaining closed during the protests, causing economic disruptions and sparking differing opinions among the public. While many Kenyans contested the new taxes imposed by the government, others expressed concerns about the impact of ongoing demonstrations on their livelihoods. Odinga’s three-day movement is set to continue on Thursday when schools, closed during the protests, will reopen.

Afaf Al Fachchouch

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