Police - Some roads to be closed ahead of Finance Bill protests


• Only authorised vehicles will be allowed into the some roads, police said.

Image: Courtesy

Police have issued a warning about potential traffic disruptions near the Parliament Building on Tuesday, June 18, due to a planned protest opposing the Finance Bill, 2024.

To manage the protest outside Parliament in Nairobi, additional anti-riot units will be mobilized starting from midday on Tuesday, according to police.

Authorities indicated they have been instructed to "diffuse" the protest from the onset, meaning any group gatherings in the city will be dispersed immediately.

"Motorists should plan accordingly from midday to avoid getting caught in the commotion. Expect an increased police presence and possible road closures," an unnamed officer stated.

"Only authorized vehicles and individuals will be allowed on certain roads, including Parliament Road."

Multi-agency teams have been meeting to strategize the response to the protest.

The protest, dubbed "Occupy Parliament," is scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, coinciding with the tabling of the Bill in the House. The voting is set for Thursday, June 20.

President William Ruto briefed a group of Members of Parliament at State House on Tuesday in preparation for the Bill's presentation.

Following the organizers' notification of the protest plans, senior police commanders have been holding separate meetings to determine the response strategy.

These meetings took place at police headquarters and the Nairobi Area police command.

Police expressed concern that protesters might block Members of Parliament from accessing the House, prompting the deployment of anti-riot teams.

However, organizer Boniface Mwangi denied these claims, emphasizing the protest's peaceful intent.

"We have marshals to guide the protest. Police should have coordinated with us to ensure a peaceful demonstration because the issue affects them too," Mwangi stated.

Nairobi police commander Adamson Bungei noted that they are preparing to manage the situation, although they are uncertain about the protesters' specific demands.

A recent Infotrak survey revealed that 87 percent of Kenyans oppose the revenue measures proposed in the Bill. Some citizens have been rallying on social media under the hashtag 'Reject Finance Bill' to encourage a large turnout for the protest.

Mwangi is leading the mobilization efforts for the protest, set for Tuesday afternoon. A circulating poster on social media reads, "Citizens, rise against over-taxation. Reject Finance Bill 2024."

The National Assembly’s Finance Committee has retreated to draft a report on the Bill ahead of its presentation in Parliament on Tuesday.

Anticipating police dispersal efforts, protest organizers have advised participants to come prepared with placards, handkerchiefs, and water bottles. These items are commonly used by protesters to cope with tear gas.

The protest is set to begin at 12pm, with participants keeping vigil as Parliament votes at 2:30pm.

Organizers have called on IG Koome to provide police protection in accordance with Article 37 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to protest and picket.

In unveiling the Sh3.92 trillion 2024-25 Budget estimates in Parliament, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u outlined various tax measures aimed at raising Sh2.92 trillion locally.

The Bill has sparked division among legislators amid public pressure to reject it.

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