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Kenyans Honor Protest Victims with Concert in Nairobi

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Ayize claire

Jul 8, 2024

Hundreds Gather on Saba Saba Day to Commemorate Lives Lost in Anti-Government Demonstrations and Demand Change

Hundreds of Kenyans gather in Nairobi's Uhuru Park, waving national flags and chanting slogans during a concert to commemorate the victims of recent anti-government protests on Saba Saba Day.

Hundreds of Kenyans gathered in Nairobi's Uhuru Park on Sunday to commemorate the lives of more than three dozen people killed during recent anti-government protests. The concert featured local artists and saw attendees chanting slogans, dancing, and holding placards with messages such as "RIP Comrades" and "We promise we'll keep fighting."

The demonstrations, which began on June 18, were sparked by planned tax hikes and calls for President William Ruto's resignation. The protests resulted in at least 39 deaths. Activist Boniface Mwangi, present at the concert, expressed mixed emotions.

"The government is listening now because of the protests. So we are kind of happy, but there's also a lot of sadness because so many people died for the government to listen," he said."So we're also mourning, and we're telling the families of those who lost their loved ones, we're with you, and we shall honour their sacrifice."

Youth at the event hammered crosses into the ground, symbolizing their grief and commitment to continued resistance. The crowd frequently chanted, "Ruto must go."

In response to the escalating protests, President Ruto scrapped the controversial finance bill, which proposed new taxes that many Kenyans argued would exacerbate the already high cost of living. On Friday, Ruto announced new austerity measures to address the budget shortfall caused by the withdrawal of the tax hikes.

These measures include reducing the number of his advisers and dissolving 47 state corporations, aiming to fill a $2.7 billion gap.

The concert coincided with Saba Saba Day on July 7, a significant date in Kenya's history. This day marks the 1990 protests that led to the end of one-party rule under the late President Daniel Arap Moi and the return to multi-party politics.

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