Kenya Protesters Storm Parliament, Police Fire Live Rounds, After Lawmakers Unleash Eco-Austerity

By TYLER DURDEN – Zerohedge

The Kenyan capital of Nairobi has descended into violence and mayhem as large street protests by Kenyans outraged at new tax policies and a harsh ‘Eco-Austerity’ program imposed by the government have resulted in the parliament building being set on fire.

Legislators are evacuating after the anti-tax protesters initially breached parliament. They quickly overwhelmed police soon after the lawmakers voted to pass a bill which introduces new nationwide taxes, including an eco-levy which raises the price of basic goods such as diapers, as part of efforts to curb waste management and be more environmentally friendly.

The new taxes were tucked away in Kenya’s Finance Bill 2024, and directly impacts imports, prices, and sales of diapers, batteries/dry cells, smartphones, earphones, clocks, radios, TV sets, cameras… staplers, printers, calculators, photocopying machines, keyboards, mice, projectors and LCD monitors.

The stringent Eco Levy especially impacts those who intend to import plastics into the Kenyan market, imposing a hefty fee per kilo on the products.

Protesters have been shouting while entering parliament, “We’re coming for every politician.” There are widespread reports that police have begun utilizing live fire against the throngs, also amid riot control measures such as tear-gas.

Currently, President William Ruto is outside the capital attending an African Union event, but he’s tried to strike a conciliatory tone, praising the enthusiasm of the youth – who are by and large the backbone of the demonstrations.

But the increasingly violent confrontations with police on the streets of Nairobi, which have been intensifying since last week when two people died, are also the result of alleged abductions by security services. The AP reports:

The Kenya Law Society President Faith Odhiambo said Tuesday that 50 Kenyans, including her personal assistant, had been “abducted” by people believed to be police officers.

Some of those missing included those who were vocal in the demonstrations and were taken away from their homes, workplaces and public spaces ahead of Tuesday’s protests, according to civil society groups.

Initial reports say at least eight people have been killed, according to a Kenya national broadcaster cited AP. The Kenya Human Rights Commission has also confirmed police are “firing live rounds” at demonstrators.

Dozens more have been injured, and likely the casualty count will rise through the day and evening as the crisis shows no signs of abating.

Lawmakers have reportedly escaped the burning and occupied parliament building unscathed through a tunnel.

Protesters have filmed themselves occupying the parliament building, now emptied of lawmakers and staff…

Sadly all of this is part of a familiar and historic pattern in Africa. The so-called international community and powerful global/Western institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regularly induce governments to take on huge debts, and then begin to impose from abroad drastic societal reform measures on the population.

And in the process of billions being exchanged, corrupt local government figures line their own pockets while imposing stringent and very sudden measures on the lower class and impoverished citizens.

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