ZAKAYO atashuka apende asipende as AU intervenes and criticizes RUTO over the contentious Finance Bill after Gen-Zs fury – Look!

Thursday, June 20, 2024 – The ongoing demonstrations against the Finance Bill by the Gen-Zs have attracted the attention of the African Union.

The African Union Commission on Human Rights called on President William Ruto to explore alternative tax options since Kenyans are unhappy with his new taxes.

In a statement, the union criticized Ruto’s administration for adopting tax measures that would directly affect the socioeconomic well-being of its citizens.

The Union noted the measures proposed by the Finance Bill would affect most Kenyans and deprive them of accessing their basic human needs.

According to the commission, the increase in the cost of living, stagnant wages, and high unemployment rates had exacerbated the struggles of ordinary citizens, contravening the principles of social justice.

"The Commission has noted the protests that have erupted in response to these tax policies, reflecting the distress and economic hardship faced by many Kenyans," read part of the statement by the AU.

As part of interventions to mitigate the escalating stalemate between Kenyans and the government, the AU called on both parties to engage in constructive and Inclusive dialogue.

The union also called on the government to explore alternative measures to alleviate the financial burden on ordinary citizens.

"Such measures could include targeted subsidies for essential goods, tax relief for low-income earners, and the implementation of robust social protection programs," the commission proposed.

The commission further called on the government to uphold the right to peaceful demonstrations as enshrined under Article 11 of the African Charter.

"The Commission calls on the Kenyan authorities to respect this right and to ensure that security forces exercise restraint and uphold the highest standards of human rights when managing public demonstrations."

AU also directed the immediate release of individuals arrested for participating in peaceful protests.

Additionally, the government was directed to immediately amend the provision that allows the revenue collection agency to access individuals' financial records without prior notice. 


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