Uhuru, Raila offer Sh1mn each, Kalonzo Sh500k for anti-govt protest victims as more protests loom large » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya July 28 – Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition has launched a fund to help the victims of the anti-government protests held in the country last week, saying they’re not done with demonstrations.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga each contribited Sh1 million to the kitty.

In a statement read by one of the principals, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Azimio said it is unhappy with the Appeals Court’s decision lifting conservatory orders barring the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.

The coalition has been mobilising Kenyans to the streets to demand the repealing of the Act which spells out higher taxes for various commodities, including fuel.

 “We are told the court has lifted the orders suspending the implementation of the infamous finance act pending determination of the main suit. That means Kenyans are going to be more heavily taxed,” said Musyoka during a prayer service at his Foundation office attended by former president Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga among others.

The coalition says it will announce the way forward, vowing not to relent in the push to fight for Kenyans.

“On Sunday, we shall communicate to the nation with regards to our next cause of action with regards to anti-tax protests,” he added.

Official records show 20 people were killed during similar protests last week even though Azimio insists it is 50.

In lifting the conservatory order, Appellate Judges Mohamed Warsame, Kathurima M’inoti, and Hedwig Omondi observed that there will be irreversible economic consequences if the order is not lifted.

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They ruled that the act cannot be suspended indefinitely given the effects it will have on taxation and government spending which is already crippled.

In their ruling, the judges, however, said all the parties shall abide by the final outcome of the appeal.

The order suspending the Finance Act was obtained by activist Okiya Omtatah who filed a case in the High Court, describing it as punitive on Kenyans since it seeks to raise taxes that will raise the cost of living.

The judges, however, allowed the appeal by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu who said the suspension of the Act was affecting government operations.

Azimio has accused the government of unleashing police on innocent Kenyans when they were fighting for their rights by rejecting the Act.

Several people remain hospitalised while more than 300 were arrested and charged.

On Friday, former President Kenyatta and Raila contributed Sh1 million each for the victims’ kitty.

Musyoka contributed Sh500,000, Eugene Wamalwa Sh200,000 while Azimio MPs jointly contributed Sh1.5 million. The money is earmarked for funerals and hosital bills of the victims.

The opposition coalition has urged Kenyans not to give up in fighting for their rights.

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“People we have lost and those nursing injuries had no capacity to overthrow the government; they had no capacity to own guns. They lacked the very basics of the basics like Unga and Sugar that’s what they were asking for,” Musyoka stated.

The Raila Odinga-led coalition assured families who lost their loved ones in the anti-government protests that will help them pursue justice by ensuring the police who shot the victims are brought to book.

“Nothing can fill the holes left in the families that lost their loved ones. We promise to help and pursue justice for them wherever. We will stand with them and we will pursue justice for them,” Musyoka said even as President William Ruto told them off, accusing them of shedding crocodile tears because they are the ones who planned and financed the rotests.

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