Kenya Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas At Anti-tax Protesters

Kenya police fire rubber bullets, tear gas at anti-tax protesters

Nairobi, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Jun, 2024) Kenyan police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse young protesters in the capital Nairobi on Tuesday, AFP reporters saw, escalating tensions as demonstrators rallied across the country against proposed tax hikes.

The mainly Gen-Z-led rallies, which began last week, have caught President William Ruto's government off guard.

The Kenyan leader said over the weekend he was prepared to talk to the protesters, while praising their "peaceful" action.

But hundreds of chanting demonstrators were met by a heavy police presence early Tuesday in Nairobi's business district.

Officers in full riot gear blocked access to parliament, where lawmakers are debating a finance bill containing the tax proposals.

"We are peaceful", demonstrators shouted, as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd, according to AFP reporters.

Anger over a cost-of-living crisis spiralled into nationwide rallies last week, with demonstrators calling for the finance bill to be scrapped.

Parliament must vote on the legislation by June 30.

"There is no criminality in assembling in the streets," father-of-one Kennedy Sankara, 26, told AFP, condemning officers.