• Wednesday, 24 July 2024
Police IG Japhet Koome states that protesters will not be granted permit to Occupy Parliament grounds

Police IG Japhet Koome states that protesters will not be granted permit to Occupy Parliament grounds

The National Police Service (NPS) has stated that protesters will not be permitted to access critical government infrastructure or disrupt ongoing parliamentary proceedings as the occupy parliament protests intensify.

In a statement to the media on Thursday, the NPS stated that while protesters' right to assemble would be respected, they would not be permitted to violate critical infrastructure.

Protesters who rallied under the 'Occupy Parliament' call to oppose the proposed, punitive Finance Bill 2024 engaged police in running battles for the majority of Thursday.

The protests take place amid calls for restraint from police, who have been asked to protect the protesters.

On Tuesday, Nairobi city played host to a major protest dubbed Occupy Parliament, as Kenyans compelled MPs to shoot down the Finance Bill. 

What began as an online activism led the Kenya Kwanza government to make amendments to the Finance Bill, scrapping some of the contentious tax proposals. 

The Bill was amended to remove the proposed 16 per cent VAT on bread, transportation of sugar, financial services, foreign exchange transactions as well as the 2.5 per cent Motor tax.

Additionally, there will be no increase in mobile money transfer fees, and Excise Duty on vegetable oil has also been removed.

In response, President William Ruto states that the ongoing protests will not cripple the decision-making process by relevant institutions.

“Civil society is free to do what they want to do; those who want to demonstrate, they can demonstrate, it is their right, no problem, but decisions have to be made by institutions,” said Ruto on Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, the controversial Bill sailed through the second reading on Thursday. 

Speaker Moses Wetangula, in the Thursday evening voting session, announced that 115 MPs voted in opposition of the Bill.

He further said that the Bill will now come up again before the entire House on Tuesday next week.

During this stage, amendments to the Bill will be introduced, and the House will vote on each clause.

Following this, the Bill will undergo a Third Reading, where the House will take a final vote to either approve or reject it.

If there are disagreements on the Bill or any proposed amendments, it will be referred to a mediation committee.

The committee will work to develop a version of the Bill that the House can consider and vote on.

The House will then debate and vote on the mediated version of the Bill.

 

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