Pictures show police clashing with anti-tax protesters in Kenya’s capital

Pictures show police clashing with anti-tax protesters in Kenya’s capital


Photographs and news agency reports showed protesters clashing in the streets of Kenyan capital Nairobi on Tuesday, as the African state passed a controversial finance bill set to raise national taxes.

Earlier in the day, the Kenyan parliament announced it had passed a second reading of the contentious Finance Bill 2024 — which sets out to raise a swathe of levies trickling down to average consumers — with 195 in favor, 106 against, no abstentions and three spoilt votes.

The tax law was last week amended to exclude an initially proposed 16% value-added-tax on bread, transportation of sugar, financial services, foreign exchange transactions, along with a 2.5% Motor Vehicle Tax.

The bill has ignited nationwide protests in Kenya, which struggles with a cost-of-living crisis punctuated by inflation that picked up to 5.1% in May. Kenya’s Human Rights Commission on Tuesday shared a video of officers shooting at protesters, calling for accountability.

At least 50 people were injured by gunfire during the latest demonstrations, Reuters reported, citing a local paramedic outside of the parliament. The news agency further said sections of the parliament building were set on fire, as the compound was stormed.

CNBC could not independently confirm the events and has reached out to the Kenyan Police Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the Tuesday incident.  

Blood has already been shed in similar protests, after two people died in separate demonstrations held last week, the Associated Press reported.

Protesters chant anti-government slogans as some of them climb a Kenya Police water cannon truck

Protesters chant anti-government slogans as some of them climb a Kenya Police water cannon truck.

Luis Tato | Afp | Getty Images

A protester kicks a tear gas canister while demonstrating

A protester kicks a tear gas canister while demonstrating during the nationwide strike

Luis Tato | Afp | Getty Images

Protesters run to take cover as a Kenya Police water cannon truck throws water

Protesters run to take cover as a Kenya Police water cannon truck throws water to them while demonstrating during a nationwide strike to protest against tax hikes and the Finance Bill 2024 in downtown Nairobi, on June 25, 2024. 

Luis Tato | Afp | Getty Images

A protester holds up a sign during the demonstration against a proposed government tax bill

A protester holds up a sign during a demonstration against the proposed government tax bill in the Central Business District of Nairobi.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Police monitor protesters against the proposed tax bill

Police monitor protesters against the proposed government tax bill

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

People use their mobile phones to take pictures of demonstrators in Naoribi CBD

People use their mobile phones to take pictures of demonstrators in Naoribi CBD.

Simon Maina | Afp | Getty Images

Anti-government demonstrators called for a shutdown of the economy

Anti-government demonstrators have called for a shutdown of the economy over revenue-raising measures they say are pushing more of the nation’s 54 million people into poverty.

Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Protesters react after being pushed by Kenya Police officers while demonstrating

Protesters react after being pushed by Kenya Police officers while demonstrating.

Luis Tato | Afp | Getty Images



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