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HomeNewsEddie Butita to join anti-Finance Bill protests on Tuesday

Eddie Butita to join anti-Finance Bill protests on Tuesday

Kenyan comedian and scriptwriter Eddie Butita has publicly declared his opposition to the Finance Bill 2024, announcing that he will participate in the protests scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

This comes days after facing backlash from fans and followers for his silence on the controversial bill.

In a statement shared on his social media, Butita said he had generally avoided making political stands in the past but recognized that this moment transcends politics.

He noted that his silence was unwarranted given his status and influence.

The comedian expressed an understanding of the public’s frustration with the current system and acknowledged the need for effective representation.

“I understand the frustration and disconnect many feel with the current system. It is clear that we need a proper structure to ensure our voices are heard and represented effectively. Often, our leaders lose touch with those they represent. The results are what is happening currently,” Butita stated.

Adding;

“Over the years, I have shied away from making political stands, but I agree this is not a political moment. With my status, my silence is not warranted. It ‘creases,’” he added.

The comedian also revealed that he had previously submitted his concerns about the bill and reiterated his commitment to doing so again when necessary.

“The Finance Bill, as it stands, is not okay. I played a role and submitted my concerns and will do it again when needed because I am a citizen and a businessman. I want the best for my countrymates, family, friends, and colleagues,” Butita declared.

Butita made his opposition to the Finance Bill 2024 official and called on others to join him in rejecting it.

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“All said and done, it is time to publicly make my position official. I, Eddie Butita, #RejectFinanceBill2024. It is time to listen. We cannot be all wrong. Hayaa basi, Gen Z nitafutieni tshirt kali nireport kwa ofisi,” he concluded.

In a statement on Friday, June 14, 2024, Butita mentioned that while creatives are not fundamentally against the bill, they are advocating for a more balanced approach.

“As a responsible citizen, I have raised some issues on the Finance bill, especially touching on the creative economy. I have engaged both formally and informally and I am confident action will be taken,” Butita said on his X.

How Finance Bill affects creators

Two contentious clauses in the Finance Bill mostly affect content creators. One clause introduces an eco levy on essential equipment like SD cards, CDs, microphones, sound recording devices, projectors, monitors, and TV and radio broadcasting gear.

This levy is particularly burdensome for the creative industry, which heavily relies on these tools.

Another major concern is the proposal to replace the 1.5% digital services tax with a 20% SEP tax on gross turnover. This change is seen as detrimental by many in the creative sector.

On June 9, 2024, various creative industry organizations submitted a joint memorandum to parliament, representing around 8,000 professionals from fields such as film, content creation, performing arts, music, art, and literature.

They argued that the bill if passed, would stifle growth and opportunities in the creative sector, which contributes 5% to the country’s GDP.

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