Kenyans promise more rallies as president pressured to rethink tax hikes

Kenyan protest leaders on Wednesday vowed to carry on marches against controversial tax hikes, a day after 13 people were killed when police opened fire on the youth-led crowds who stormed the parliament.

As security forces patrolled the streets of the capital Nairobi, supporters of the week-old protest movement took to X, using the hashtag #tutanethursday, or "see you on Thursday" in a mix of Swahili and English.

"You cannot kill all of us," wrote the journalist and activist Hanifa Adan on X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday. "Tomorrow we march peacefully again."

Last week thousands of people marched across the country against the tax increases, but tensions sharply escalated on Tuesday after parliament passed the contentious bill, which must be signed by Ruto to become law.

Crowds then stormed and burned down parts of the country's parliament building, with local TV showing burnt furniture and smashed windows.

The violence prompted President William Ruto's government to deploy the military.

Simon Kigondu, president of the Kenya Medical Association, told AFP: "So far, we have at least 13 people killed, but this is not the final number.

"We have never seen such a level of violence against unarmed people."

In posts online, protest organisers shared fundraising efforts to support those hurt in the demonstrations.

Ruto's administration has been taken by surprise by the intensity of opposition to its tax hikes.

Long-running grievances over the rising cost of living spiralled last week as lawmakers began debating the bill containing the tax hikes.

Read more on RFI English

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