Kenyans Gather to Honor Protest Victims, Demand Change

Hundreds of Kenyans attended a concert in Nairobi to commemorate the dozens killed during recent anti-government protests. The event, held on the historically significant Saba Saba Day, saw attendees chanting slogans and paying tribute to those who lost their lives opposing planned tax hikes.

The protests, which claimed at least 39 lives, succeeded in pressuring President William Ruto to scrap the controversial finance bill. However, the gathering also served as a reminder of the high cost of this political victory, with many mourning the lives lost in the struggle.

Activists used the concert to reaffirm their commitment to continued advocacy, with placards reading “We promise we’ll keep fighting” and chants of “Ruto must go” echoing through Uhuru Park. The event highlighted the tension between celebration of the protesters’ impact and grief over the lives lost.

In response to the unrest, Ruto has proposed new austerity measures, including reducing his advisory team and dissolving 47 state corporations. These changes aim to address the budget gap created by withdrawing the tax hikes, which were expected to raise $2.7 billion.

The concert, featuring local artists, also commemorated the 1990 protests that led to multi-party politics in Kenya. As the country grapples with economic challenges and political tensions, the event underscored the ongoing struggle for change and accountability in Kenyan politics.