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Ruto pledges to engage youth for a better Kenya

Ruto says he is proud of the young people for their courage and unity

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President William Ruto has broken his silence over the ongoing protests by Kenyan youths over the Finance Bill 2024.

Speaking during a church service at Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Diocese of Nyahururu on Sunday, Ruto said that he is proud of the young people who have stepped forward in their numbers tribe less and peacefully to democratically voice their grievances over the bill.

The President insisted that together with young people, his government will work with them to build a better country.

“The courage and unity that our youth have exhibited in the management of our country’s affairs is encouraging. We will engage them to discuss their concerns and build a better Kenya for everyone” he told the congregants.

Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua and a host of leaders attended the Consecration of Rev. Maj. Samson Mburu Gachathi as the third Bishop of the Diocese.

Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit who presided over the ceremony urged the police to refrain from using excessive force during the anti-Finance Bill demonstrations since they have been peaceably marching along the streets.

“These are our children and there is a need to listen to the issues they are raising,” the Prelate, whose church is against the bill over new tax proposals,” he said.

Ole Sapit said he had initially disallowed politicians from making speeches during the ceremony but after consultations softened his stance giving the President and the DP a chance to address the faithful.

Gachagua concurred with the Archbishop and only read out the names of a host of legislators from across the country who were present.

The DP said he supported the church’s decision to bar politicians from using the pulpit to divide the nation and fuel political intolerance in the Country.

Despite the protests, 204 Members of Parliament voted in favour of the Bill, as 105 others voted against it. With the majority having their way, it will now move to the Committee of the whole House where amendments will be made starting Tuesday, next week.

The parliament committee in charge of finance and planning has dropped the proposed taxes on bread and cooking oil, the annual 2.5 percent levy on motor vehicles, and the tax on financial transactions.

The amendments announced Tuesday didn’t satisfy Kenyans who want the bill dropped altogether.

The National Assembly is expected to vote on the bill next week. Kenyans have vowed to continue protesting as the debate rages on.

 

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