Written by 07:30 World

Kenya Protesters Call for President to Resign Despite His Withdrawal of the Tax Bill

Protesters returned to the streets of Kenya on Thursday, some of them demanding the resignation of President William Ruto, despite his announcement a day earlier that he was abandoning a tax bill that drew large-scale demonstrations in which nearly two dozen people were killed.

The crowds in Nairobi, the capital, were much smaller than those on Tuesday, when tens of thousands of protesters flooded into the city center as lawmakers debated and then passed the contentious legislation. That demonstration turned violent as people stormed the building and set parts of it ablaze, and rights groups say that at least 23 people were killed and more than 300 others injured as the police used tear gas and bullets against them.

On Thursday, a heavy police and military presence was visible across the capital, with officers in cars and trucks and on horseback guarding the roads leading to Parliament, the president’s official residence and several downtown streets. Much of the central business district remained closed as police officers chased and tear-gassed smaller crowds waving white roses. Protests continued until evening in some neighborhoods in Nairobi.

Some activists and opposition political leaders had urged demonstrators not to march toward the president’s official residence in Nairobi on Thursday for fear of more bloodshed. But others said the killings, shootings and abductions in recent days — which activists said were some of the bloodiest in Kenya’s recent history — would not deter them from pushing Mr. Ruto to resign.

“We will be in these streets until Ruto goes,” said John Kimani, 25, who was protesting in Nairobi. “No one can tell us otherwise.”


Last modified: 30 June 2024