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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What happens next after Ruto directs complete withdrawal of Finance Bill 2024

In a surprising turn of events, President William Ruto has declined to ratify the highly controversial Finance Bill 2024.

The head of state also announced that the government has withdrawn the bill entirely and will have to make adjustments to the budget to reflect the decision.

He said that he came to the conclusion after countrywide discontentment with the bill as it is.

“Because we have gotten rid of the Finance Bill 2024, we must have a conversation on how to manage the affairs of the country and the debt situation together. I will propose an engagement with the young people and listen to our sons and daughters,” he said.

He also called for further budget cuts in all sectors of the government to aid the country live within its means.

The law has been at the heart of the recent violent protests across Kenya.

President Ruto’s decision comes amidst mounting pressure from the public and widespread opposition to the proposed tax hikes included in the bill.

The Finance Bill 2024 has faced significant backlash from Kenyans who argue that the new tax measures would exacerbate the already high cost of living.

“Having reflected on the continuing conversation around the content of the finance bill 2024 and listening keenly to the people of Kenya who have said loudly that they want nothing to do with this Finance Bill 2024. I concede and therefore I will not sign the 2024 Finance Bill and it shall subsequently be withdrawn,” President Ruto stated.

Starting with the Executive Office of the President, and extending to the entire executive arm of government, the head of state directed that operational expenditure in the presidency be reduced.

The following will be reduced; allocations for the confidential vote, reduce travel budget, hospitality and purchase of motor vehicles, renovations and other expenditures.

The protests, which began as peaceful demonstrations, escalated into violent clashes with police forces, resulting in casualties and extensive property damage, including the storming of the Parliament building.

President Ruto’s decision to reject the bill marks a significant moment in the ongoing crisis.

The President is expected to address the nation shortly, where he will provide further details on his decision and outline the government’s next steps.

The announcement of the President’s decision has been met with mixed reactions.

Many Kenyans have expressed relief and hope that this move will pave the way for more inclusive and responsive governance.

However, some remain skeptical about the government’s commitment to addressing the underlying issues that have fueled the unrest.

They also argue that it should not have taken the loss of lives and damage to property for the government to act on the wishes of many Kenyans.

In a statement released earlier today, the President’s office acknowledged the public’s concerns and emphasized the administration’s dedication to finding solutions that balance fiscal responsibility with the needs of the citizens.

President Ruto’s upcoming address is highly anticipated, with citizens and political analysts alike eager to hear how the administration plans to navigate this challenging period.

This address comes in the backdrop of his statement on Tuesday evening, condemning the invasion of Parliament during the protests, saying that the demos were hijacked by criminals.

He announced that he has directed all the organs of national Security to deploy measures to thwart any attempt by dangerous criminals to undermine the security and stability of the country.

“Accordingly I assure Kenyans that we shall provide a full effective and expeditious response to today’s treasonous events,” President Ruto declared.

He said that It is not in order that criminals pretending to be peaceful protesters could reign terror against the people, their elected representatives and Parliament and expect to go Scott free.

“I hear by put on notice the planners financiers orchestrators and abettors of violence and Anarchy that the security infrastructure is established to protect our republic and its sovereignty will be deployed to secure the country and restore normalcy,” the head of state said.

He thanked young people for helping the country organise democratic discourse around issues but added that the idea was taken up by criminals.

I thank you and I assure you that the conversation you have begun around pertinent issues of our nation will continue to inform our policy and governance decision,” President Ruto spoke.

He committed to championing issue-based policy-oriented and tribeless engagement on critical national issues and providing a framework for this conversation to be processed and its outcomes implemented.

However our national conversation on any subject matter must be conducted in a manner that respects and honours the fun foundational values upon which our nation is published namely constitutionalism the rule of law and respect for institutions,” the head of state stated.

He claimed that criminal elements within the protest were to blame for the losses incurred during the protests.

Several people were killed and property damaged in Nairobi and other areas after young people took to the streets to oppose the Finance Bill 2024.

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