Kenya's President Reverses Decision on Controversial Finance Bill Following Day of Unrest

Former president Barack Obama’s sister was among those injured.

Kenyan President William Ruto says he will no longer sign a controversial finance bill that would have increased taxes for residents following the week’s tragic events. 

The decision comes just one day after thousands of protesters stormed parliament in a chaotic event that resulted in the deaths of 23 people and left 300 others injured as police used tear gas and bullets to disperse demonstrators. The exact toll is still being determined.

Among those injured was Kenyan activist and former president Barack Obama’s half-sister, Auma Obama, who was hit with tear gas during a live CNN interview. 

RELATED: 'The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare': A New Look at WWII's Hidden Heroes

“Listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this finance bill, I concede, and therefore, I will not sign the 2024 finance bill, and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” Mr. Ruto said to in an address to the country on Wednesday (June 26).

Mr. Ruto's announcement marked a significant shift from his previous stance. Just the night before, the politician had referred to the demonstrators as “dangerous criminals” and accused them of treason, deploying both military and police forces to suppress the protests.

Online, many have applauded the efforts of the young protesters, including one Twitter user who wrote, “What the Youth of Kenya have done will go down in history. They never targeted a person per se but they made sure parliament doesn’t adopt a bill which has zero interest of the majority. RIP to those they lost but that was MASSIVE. “

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.