Kenya: Death Toll Rise To 23 In Anti-Tax Protest, Others Injured

Kenya Anti-Tax Protest: Death Toll Rises To 23, Others Injured

4 weeks ago
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Death Toll Rises to 23 in Anti-Tax Protests

The ongoing anti-tax protests in Kenya have resulted in 23 deaths, with 20 others in critical condition awaiting surgeries.

According to the Kenya Medical Association, six patients are currently undergoing operations at Kenyatta National Hospital, the largest medical facility in East Africa.

Simon Kigondu, the head of the Kenya Medical Association, told Anadolu, “The situation room across the country, but mainly in Nairobi, has recorded a total of 23 deaths. Many people have been injured and were rushed to various hospitals. At the main hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital, they have stopped all planned surgeries.

They are only handling bullet wounds. Six operations are going on and 24 people in critical condition are waiting to be treated.”

Legal Action Against Defense Minister

In response to the escalating violence, a lawsuit has been filed against Kenya’s Defense Minister Aden Duale, over the military’s involvement in quelling the protests. The suit was filed before newly appointed High Court Judge Andrew Bahati Mwamuye.

Chrysostom Xavier Akhaabi, a lawyer from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), criticized the hurried deployment of the Kenya Defense Forces. Akhaabi argued that Duale failed to provide a detailed justification for using military force against unarmed civilians.

“The deployment of the military was unnecessary and lacked proper justification. The government needs to account for this excessive use of force,” Akhaabi stated.

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Military Deployed Amid Escalating Unrest

Duale ordered the deployment of the military late Tuesday to deal with a “security emergency” after violent demonstrations against tax hikes led to multiple deaths.

The protests, sparked by the proposed Finance Bill 2024, which suggests tax hikes, have resulted in widespread looting and property damage throughout Nairobi.

President William Ruto has declined to sign the Finance Bill 2024 and sent it back to Parliament, proposing amendments to the bill. The heightened security comes in the wake of widespread unrest and mounting public anger.

Hospitals Overwhelmed by Injured Protestors

As the unrest continues, the situation in Nairobi remains tense. Hospitals are overwhelmed by the influx of injured protestors. The death toll is expected to rise as more critical cases are being treated. Kenyatta National Hospital has stopped all planned surgeries to focus on treating bullet wounds and other injuries related to the protests.

Voices from the Ground

Among the injured is Kenta, a young protestor who was shot during the demonstrations. “We were protesting peacefully when the police started shooting. I was hit in the leg and rushed to the hospital. The government needs to listen to us and stop this brutality,” Kenta said from his hospital bed.

Another protestor, Mary Njeri, expressed her frustration with the government’s response. “We are tired of these tax hikes. Life is already hard, and now they want to make it harder. The government must reconsider this bill and address our concerns,” she said.

Calls for Peace and Dialogue

As the violence continues, there are growing calls for peace and dialogue. Community leaders and civil society organizations are urging the government to engage with protestors and find a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

“The government and protestors need to come to the table and discuss their differences. Violence will only lead to more suffering and loss of life,” said John Mutua, a community leader in Nairobi.

The protests and the government’s response have drawn international attention, with calls for an end to the violence and respect for human rights.

The situation remains fluid, and the next steps by both the government and protestors will be crucial in determining the outcome of this crisis.

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Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

Emmanuel Ochayi is a journalist. He is a graduate of the University of Lagos, School of first choice and the nations pride. Emmanuel is keen on exploring writing angles in different areas, including Business, climate change, politics, Education, and others.

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