July 21st, 2024

Part of Kenya’s parliament is on fire as thousands of protesters enter

By Evelyne Musambi, The Associated Press on June 25, 2024.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Thousands of Kenyan anti-tax protesters have entered parliament, and part of the building is on fire. Legislators are evacuating.

Police earlier Tuesday fired live ammunition at the protesters in the capital, Nairobi, as thousands continued to rally and demand that legislators vote against new taxes proposed in a controversial finance bill.

The protesters outmaneuvered police to enter parliament after legislators voted to pass the bill.

Police fired live bullets at the protesters, and journalists saw some bodies outside parliament moments before some protesters breached security.

Lawmakers fled through a tunnel, but protesters allowed opposition legislators who voted against the bill to walk out of the besieged building.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission shared a video of officers shooting at protesters and said they would be held to account.

Two people died in similar protests last week.

The finance bill introduces new taxes, including an eco-levy that would raise the price of goods like sanitary towels and diapers.

The Kenya Law Society President Faith Odhiambo said 50 Kenyans, including her personal assistant, had been “abducted” by people believed to be police officers.

Some of those missing included those who were vocal in the ongoing demonstrations and were taken away from their homes, workplaces and public spaces in the run-up to Tuesday’s protests, according to civil society groups.

Police officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Parliament Speaker Moses Wetangula directed the inspector general of police to provide information on the whereabouts of those the opposition said were abducted by police.

President William Ruto was outside the capital attending an African Union retreat. On Sunday, he said he was proud of the young people who had come out to exercise their democratic duty and said he would engage the youth on their concerns.


AP Africa news: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

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