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Police Teargas Schoolgirls As Kenyans In Mombasa Protest Tax Hikes In Finance Bill

19.06.2024 16:57

Mombasa Area police boss Peter Mugambi said protests were illegal, police took measures to maintain law, order.

Police in Kenya's coastal town of Mombasa used tear gas Wednesday to disperse tax hike protesters when a teargas canister was lobbed at students that caused panic.The students were caught in the crossfire as police struggled with demonstrators who demanded the rejection of Finance Bill 2024 which would see the introduction of tax hikes amid a high cost of living already affecting the East African country.Mombasa area police boss Peter Mugambi told reporters that the protests were illegal and police were taking necessary measures to enforce the law and maintain order."There should be no protests as they are illegal and we will ensure we maintain law and order. Let us be peaceful. If you want protests, write a letter to my office," he said.But he did not comment on the teargas canister that was "accidentally" lobbed at the students from Coast Girls High School during the dispersal of the demonstrators.Similar protests were held Tuesday in the Kenyan capital, where more than 200 mostly younger people were arrested, according to police. Many were freed without charge later in the day.The demonstrations that were organized in Nairobi and other cities have seen Kenyans voicing outrage about the increased taxes on essentials such as fuel, food and other goods.Finance Bill 2024 includes proposals to increase taxes on mobile money transfers, banking transactions and other financial services. Additionally, it seeks to introduce higher taxes on digital services.Some concessions were made as several taxes were removed Tuesday from the bill.Finance Bill 2024 in Kenya is currently under debate in Parliament but there is no exact date for when a vote will take place. It is expected to be soon finalized. -

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