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PHOTOS: Finance Bill protests in Mombasa attract mammoth crowds

Thousands of Kenyans took to the streets of Mombasa on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, joining nationwide protests against the contentious Finance Bill 2024.

Demonstrators from various neighbourhoods within Kenya’s second city voiced their frustrations with the government, with Mombasa’s Central Business District (CBD) seeing a particularly large turnout.

Anti-Finance Bill protesters in the streets of Mombasa on June 25, 2024. PHOTO/Reuben Mwambingu

The massive gathering in Mombasa disrupted traffic along major roads as protesters chanted anti-government slogans. Despite a noticeable police presence, the protests proceeded without interference, showcasing the public’s determination to express their discontent.

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Protests in Mombasa on June 25, 2024. PHOTO/Reuben Mwambingu

Protesters pledged to hold government-allied politicians accountable in the next general election, emphasizing their resolve to push for political change.

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Protesters making their way to Mombasa CBD on June 25, 2024. PHOTO/X (@LifeinMombasa)

Similar protests were observed in Nairobi and other cities, reflecting a unified national movement against the Finance Bill.

Mobilization for the protests began over the weekend through social media platforms.

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Protesters gathered at a street in Mombasa on June 25, 2024. Photo/Screengrab by K24

By 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, crowds had already formed in the Archives area of Nairobi’s CBD, carrying placards denouncing the Finance Bill and calling for President William Ruto’s resignation. The demonstrators, chanting “Ruto must go! Ruto must go!”, faced a heavy police presence that attempted to disperse them with batons.

The protests are part of a broader campaign dubbed “7 days of rage,” initiated in response to the Finance Bill’s advancement through its second reading in Parliament. The bill, which proposes significant tax increases, has been met with widespread opposition from the public, who argue that it is being imposed against their will.

In addition to opposing the bill, the protests aim to honor those who lost their lives in previous demonstrations and to demand that the government address instances of police brutality. A widely circulated poster on social media called for a nationwide strike, urging parents to keep their children at home in solidarity and warning of a potential total shutdown of the country.

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“Gen Zs are granting all hard-working Kenyans a day off. Parents keep your children at home in solidarity,” read the poster, highlighting the youthful energy driving the protests.

As the protests continue to unfold, the tension between the public and the government remains high, with citizens resolute in their demand for change and the protection of their rights.

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