Protests in Kenya: an eyewitness report

Read a report sent to us by a participant in the Kenya protests, through our comrades in the Revolutionary Socialist Movement in Nigeria

Kenya’s Gen Z Makes a Stand: Finance Bill Protest Ignites Calls for Change

This week, Kenya witnessed a powerful demonstration of youth activism as Gen Z took to the streets to reject the controversial Finance Bill 2024. Sparked by outrage over proposed tax hikes that would disproportionately burden ordinary Kenyans, the movement began on Tuesday and gained momentum throughout the week.

The protests were a beacon of organization and resolve. Young Kenyans, united by a common cause, displayed a remarkable level of coordination as they sustained their demonstrations through nightfall. Notably, the movement remained resolutely independent, free from any political affiliation. Chants of “Ruto Must Go” and “Zakayo Shuka” (meaning “Zacchaeus come down”) resonated throughout the streets, reflecting a deep frustration with the government’s direction.

The movement reached a tragic turning point on Thursday when a young protestor lost their life. Despite this, the spirit of the revolution remained strong. While Tuesday’s demonstration faced a harsher police response with tear gas canisters, Thursday saw a more restrained approach with the use of water cannons.

However, the fight is far from over. The bill was controversially voted in by a majority of present MPs on Thursday. This has ignited a new wave of action. Protests are planned for next Tuesday, and a campaign to expose and hold accountable the MPs who voted for the bill is underway. Businesses owned by these MPs are facing boycotts, and they are being branded as traitors to the people’s cause.

The events of this week mark a significant moment in Kenyan history. They showcase the power of a united youth voice demanding change. The spirit of revolution ignited by Gen Z is a force to be reckoned with, and it remains to be seen how the government will respond to the growing calls for accountability and a more equitable future for all Kenyans.

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