Nairobi News


Tight security as main roads to Parliament closed ahead of anti-Finance Bill protests

Security in and around the Central Business District (CBD) has been heightened with several roads leading to the Parliament have been closed ahead of nationwide protests against the Finance Bill, 2024.

They include Parliament Road and City Hall Way as protestors started pouring on the streets of Nairobi as early as 7 am ahead of the anti-Finance bill protests today.

Access to the area has been fully restricted, with entry allowed only to authorized personnel upon proper identification.

The third round of protests is expected in most parts of the country even as the National Assembly votes on the bill.

In Nairobi, a large contingent of anti-riot police from various units has been deployed to maintain order in the capital.

By 9 am, there were a handful of protests on several streets in Nairobi, to agitate for rejection of the proposed law by Members of Parliament which were dispersed by police

On Monday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said those who wished to demonstrate could do so as long as they adhered to the rule of law.

“The Government of Kenya will respect, uphold, promote and fulfill the inalienable constitutional right of every person to assemble, demonstrate, picket and petition the authorities peacefully and unarmed,” Kindiki said.

The protests, mobilised under the hashtag #RejectFinanceBill2024, has seen a wave of abductions and disappearance of individuals linked to the ongoing countrywide protests and have taken Kenyans down the memory lane of an era when those opposed to the government were arrested and tortured.

Among those missing include bloggers Gabriel Oguda and Osama Otero the content creators and influencers who have gone missing following a series of arrests by police.

The arrests have been linked to state agents who have recently stepped up their crackdown on those believed to be mobilising the protests. The missing individuals had made numerous posts critical of the proposed Finance Bill and the government.

The two are believed to have been involved in organising massive X-space discussions against the Finance Bill which on Saturday drew at least 60,000 listeners including President William Ruto.

On Tuesday morning, Oguda alerted his followers to his impending arrest posting on social media that police officers were outside his home.

“Guys. Cops are at my gate,” Oguda posted on X at 2.18am, before going silent. His arrest was later confirmed by his brother, Zachary Oguda.

“I can confirm that my brother has been taken by unknown gunmen from his house 5 minutes ago,” Zachary posted on X at 2:53 am, informing followers that any posts from the blogger’s accounts were scheduled.

The demonstrators, largely spearheaded by Generation Z (Gen Z), have called on Kenyans to come out in large numbers and exercise their rights by demonstrating and rejecting the Finance Bill.

“Total Shut Down. We call on everyone to come out and join the nationwide strike. Gen Z is granting all hard-working Kenyans a day off,” read a post on the scheduled demos.

The government has allowed the nationwide hashtag demonstrations, which will culminate on Thursday when Gen Zs have warned they will block the main roads into Nairobi.