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    CEASE FIRE: Ruto Bows to Public Pressure, Withdraws Controversial Finance Bill 2024

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    CEASE FIRE: Ruto Bows to Public Pressure, Withdraws Controversial Finance Bill 2024
    • June 26, 2024 • 27 days ago
    in summary
    Kenyan President William Ruto has decided not to sign the contentious Finance Bill, 2024, following significant public outcry and violent protests. This decision came just before a high court barred the army's deployment to Nairobi. The bill, which had sparked widespread anger and deadly protests, will be formally withdrawn from Parliament.

    Kenyan President William Ruto has decided not to sign the controversial Finance Bill, 2024, after facing significant public opposition. His decision came shortly before a high court issued an order preventing the deployment of the army to the capital, Nairobi, in response to widespread protests.

    President Ruto acknowledged the strong public sentiment against the bill, stating, "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with this Finance Bill 2024, I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 Finance Bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn." This decision reflects the administration's response to the people's demands and the intensity of the protests.

    The Finance Bill, 2024, had ignited anger, particularly among the younger generation, known as Gen-Z, who initially engaged in peaceful protests. However, the demonstrations escalated as protesters stormed the administrative headquarters and other key installations, including Uganda House, which they set on fire. The situation reached a critical point when protesters attempted to march to the presidential palace but were met with military force ordered by President Ruto to support the overwhelmed police.

    Tragically, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported that at least 22 people lost their lives during Tuesday's protests. This violence underscored the high stakes and deep divisions over the proposed legislation.

    In his address, President Ruto highlighted the efforts his administration has made to alleviate economic pressures on Kenyans. He mentioned the significant reduction in the price of essential commodities like maize flour (unga), which dropped from KSh240 to KSh100, and the cost of fertilizer, which was reduced from KSh7,500 to KSh2,500. Additionally, he pointed out the strengthening of the Kenyan Shilling against the US Dollar.

    Ruto also discussed the nation's progress in managing its debt. He noted that a substantial portion of the government's tax revenue, 61%, is used to service debt. The President proudly announced that Kenya had completed the repayment of a Eurobond debt borrowed in 2014, with the final installment of $500 million paid last week. This repayment marked a significant milestone in the country's efforts to reduce its debt burden.

    Sources from State House revealed that President Ruto had already decided against assenting to the bill prior to the public announcement. This move is expected to send the draft law back to Parliament, where the majority leader, Kimani Ichung'wah, will formally withdraw it.

    This development highlights the significant impact of public opinion on government decisions and the complex interplay between economic policy and social stability in Kenya. President Ruto's decision not to sign the Finance Bill, 2024, reflects his administration's responsiveness to public demands and its ongoing efforts to address the nation's economic challenges

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