‘People Have Spoken, Bill Shall Be Withdrawn’ – Kenyan President, Ruto Makes U-turn, Refuses To Sign Controversial Finance Bill Amid Protests

People Have Spoken, Bill Shall Be Withdrawn’ - Kenyan President, Ruto Makes U-turn, Refuses To Sign Controversial Finance Bill Amid Protests

President William Ruto has yielded to public pressure and announced that he will not sign the Finance Bill 2024, acknowledging that the voices of the people have been heard.

President Ruto said after listening “keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this Finance Bill 2024, I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 Finance Bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn”.

At least five people have been killed and 31 wounded in the protests in Nairobi against the proposed tax hikes.

Amnesty International and other organisations have alleged that 12 prominent people involved in the protest movement had been abducted in the five days leading up to Tuesday’s unrest. Two people were also killed in similar demonstrations last week.

President William Ruto is anticipated to return the Finance Bill 2024 to Parliament, accompanied by a detailed memorandum outlining his reasons for withholding signature and declining to enact it as law.

In an address, President Ruto highlighted his administration’s unwavering dedication to reducing the prices of essential goods like ‘unga’ (a staple food in Kenya), successfully bringing it down from Sh240 to Sh100. Additionally, he emphasized their achievements in decreasing fertiliser costs from Sh7,500 to Sh2,500 and strengthening the Kenyan Shilling against the US dollar.

On Tuesday, SaharaReporters reported that KTN News had announced that the Kenyan government threatened to shut down the station.

KTN is a member of the Standard Group PLC, a multi-media organization with investments in print, TV, radio, digital & courier services. The arms under the group include The Standard Newspaper, Nairobian, KTN News, KTN Home, KTN Farmers, BTV, Radio Maisha, Spice FM, Vybez Radio & Berur FM.

On Tuesday afternoon, during a live broadcast on KTN, an unexpected announcement revealed that the media organisation was facing threats of closure, shocking viewers and staff alike.

A news anchor announced on the station, “In the wake of a detailed coverage of the ongoing protest against the Finance Bill 2024 that has been organised by Gen Z protesters, we would like to inform our viewers that we have received threats from the authorities of intention to shut us down.

“We would like to inform the public of our commitment to defend public interests and we shall not be cowed by any threats.”

Many Kenyans, mostly youths, have taken to the streets of various towns in the country to protest against the Finance Bill 2024.

The bill seeks to raise revenue through additional taxes.

Kenya’s parliament passed the controversial Finance Bill 2024 on Tuesday, with 195 lawmakers voting in support of the bill.

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