Nairobi, Kenya – For the second time in less than a week, protests have erupted in Nairobi and other major cities in Kenya, bringing businesses to a standstill and causing major disruptions around the country.
A police official said officers killed six people, and more than 10 others were taken to hospitals. The official said the six who were killed were shot for disrupting businesses, without elaborating.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for civil disobedience and weekly nationwide protests against President William Ruto’s government and recent tax hikes and rising cost of living.
Ruto, sworn in last September, has inherited an economy burdened by debt, inflation and weakening shilling. His government says tax hikes, which include a doubling of the fuel tax and the introduction of a levy to fund affordable housing, are necessary to deal with growing debt repayments and to create job opportunities.
Opposition groups assert that the tax hikes will only exacerbate the hardships faced by Kenyans, who are already struggling with the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities, including food.