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Listen to the voices of Kenyans, NCCK urges State

Gen Z demonstrators protesting against the Finance Bill 2024.

The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has urged the Kenya Kwanza Government to give a listening ear to protesters opposed to the contentious Finance Bill 2024.

They called upon the elected leaders in Parliament to listen to voices of the people and resist any urge to pass the bill in its current state.

Through a statement read to congregants Sunday, NCCK also urged the Government address the challenge of brutality meted on the unarmed protesters by police officers.

At the Methodist Church of Kenya – Isiolo Town Church, the Superintendent Minister of Isiolo Circuit who is also the Secretary of NCCK Isiolo County Rev. David Muthuiya termed the Finance Bill 2024 as punitive and a heavy burden on the shoulders of Kenyans who are already struggling due to heavy taxation that has had a huge impact on the cost of living.

Rev. Muthuiya noted that the government and other social structures exist to give people hope, and to help them develop both as individuals and as a community, arguing that overtaxing the same Kenyans goes against that expectation.

He said that it was the duty of citizens to fund the government operations through payment of taxes, but the government should also not impose taxes that become a very heavy burden for the people to bear,

NCCK cited the proposed excise tax on bread, motor vehicle levy and tax on mobile money transfers as very punitive proposals that will have a huge impact on the livelihoods of poor Kenyans.

According to the cleric, Kenyans have also witnessed businesses close down because of heavy taxation, noting that it was time the government listened to the voices of the young crop of demonstrators dubbed GEN Z who have embarked on street protests to make their voices heard.

Rev. Muthuiya noted that the expressions by GEN Z protesters depicted the feelings of majority of Kenyans over the controversial bill, asking the police to exercise restraint and avoid using excessive force to contain them. He also termed the demonstrators as peaceful, organized and unarmed, arguing that they were within their rights to picket, carrying only water bottles and their mobile phones.