Sunday, July 21, 2024

#RutoMustGo: Kenyan youths carrying coffins defy police clampdown, hit streets for third week

The protest against the finance bill proposing a tax hike started on June 18 and has morphed into calls for Mr Ruto’s resignation despite the bill’s withdrawal.

• July 2, 2024
Protesting Kenyans
Protesting Kenyans [Credit; Capital News]

For the third week, Kenyan youth carrying coffins hit the streets in protest against corruption and bad governance, calling for President William Ruto’s resignation.

The protest against the finance bill proposing a tax hike started on June 18 and has morphed into calls for Mr Ruto’s resignation despite the bill’s withdrawal.

On Tuesday, Kenyan youths, in their hundreds, occupied different parts of the country, from Nairobi to Mombasa, Kisumu, Migori-Rongo to Nakuru, Kisii town to Lodwar town, defying police’s teargas, water cannons and shootings, according to reports from Kenya local media.

Footages of protesters carrying coffins as they match, disrupting business and commercial activities in Nairobi CBD, flooded the internet on Tuesday.

Similarly, in Kisii town, protesters shut down commercial activities, lighting bonfires as they match. One protester was shot dead in Migori-Rongo, while some vehicles were torched in Mombasa.

Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights on Sunday said 39 persons have been killed during the protest in the past two weeks, contrary to Mr Ruto’s claim that only 19 deaths were recorded so far.

The commission added that 361 persons have been injured, and 32 cases of enforced disappearances have been recorded since anti-finance bill protests broke out in the country on June 18.

Speaking to journalists on Sunday night, Mr Ruto said he had no blood on his hands in a pushback against accusations that he watched police killing citizens before withdrawing the bill.

“I have no blood on my hands,” Mr Ruto said on Sunday. “Nineteen people are dead to the record that I have from security agencies. Very unfortunate. As a democracy, that should not be part of our conversation.”

Amnesty International Kenya had also accused Mr Ruto of inciting the police to massacre citizens, calling for his trial at the International Criminal Court.

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