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Kenyan Youth Rise Up, Generation Z Protests the Finance Bill 2024 scrapping off.

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Kenya unrest: the deep economic roots that brought Gen-Z onto the streets

By XN Iraki The generation of Kenyans born between 1997...
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Scrap it off! Don’t amend! In a display of unwavering determination, thousands of young Kenyans from the Generation Z demographic have taken to the streets, their voices echoing with a unified cry against the proposed Finance Bill 2024. This groundswell of youth-led activism has shaken the nation, as the country’s future leaders boldly challenge the government’s economic policies, demanding a more equitable and sustainable path forward.

The Finance Bill 2024, unveiled by the Kenyan government earlier this year, has been the catalyst for this widespread demonstration. The bill, which seeks to restructure the country’s tax framework, has been met with fierce opposition from the younger generation, who argue that it disproportionately burdens the already struggling middle and lower-income communities.

The protesters argue that the bill’s proposed increase in value-added tax (VAT) on essential goods and services will further exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis that has gripped the nation. Additionally, the bill’s provisions to reduce tax exemptions for small and medium-sized enterprises have sparked outrage among the younger generation, who see these businesses as the foundation for their own entrepreneurial aspirations.

The protesters’ demands extend beyond the specifics of the Finance Bill 2024, as they call for a more inclusive and transparent approach to policymaking. They argue that the government has failed to adequately consult with the youth, whose perspectives and lived experiences are crucial in shaping economic policies that truly address the needs of the population.

The scale and intensity of the protests have caught the attention of the Kenyan government, with officials acknowledging the valid concerns raised by the young demonstrators. In a move to address the growing unrest, the government has initiated a series of dialogues with youth representatives, promising to incorporate their feedback into the final iteration of the Finance Bill 2024.

However, the protesters remain skeptical, citing past instances where their concerns have been dismissed or marginalized in the policymaking process. They are determined to maintain the momentum of their movement, vowing to continue their demonstrations until their demands are met.

The Kenyan Generation Z’s protest against the Finance Bill 2024 is a testament to the growing political consciousness and activism of the country’s younger population. These young Kenyans are no longer content to be passive bystanders in the decision-making process; they are actively asserting their agency and demanding a seat at the table.

As the government navigates the delicate balance between economic progress and social equity, the voices of the youth will undoubtedly continue to echo, serving as a constant reminder that the true power for change lies in the hands of the next generation. The outcome of this demonstration may very well shape the trajectory of Kenya’s future, as the country grapples with the challenge of ensuring that its economic transformation benefits all its citizens, regardless of age or social status.

About The Author

Moses Sampeke
Moses Sampeke
Community Journalist, Laikipia County, Kenya, Africa.

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