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Kenyan President Ruto Bows To Protesters, Scraps Budgets For First Lady’s Office, Dissolves 40 Agencies

President William Ruto of Kenya has responded to nationwide protests by eliminating the budget for the country’s first and second ladies’ offices.

In a live broadcast, he outlined extensive austerity measures, including dissolving 47 state agencies and halting non-essential official travel.

President Ruto declared, “The number of government advisors will be immediately reduced by 50%,” and confirmed the removal of operations from the first lady, second lady, and prime cabinet wife’s offices.

Furthermore, he emphasised a suspension on non-essential travel for state and public officers and prohibited their participation in harambee fundraising events.

As part of the austerity drive, Ruto announced the dissolution of 47 state corporations with overlapping functions, ensuring affected staff are transferred to other ministries.

These measures come after intense protests against the Finance Bill disrupted commerce for three weeks, escalating into occupation of parliament and violent clashes with police using tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition.

Footage of police firing on protesters and images of casualties sparked global outrage. Amid mounting pressure, Ruto withdrew the controversial Finance Bill last Wednesday. Amnesty International accused him of using snipers against protesters, calling for his trial at the ICC.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights reported 39 deaths, numerous injuries, and disappearances, blaming police for excessive force.

Migori County Governor Ochillo Ayacko condemned police brutality, recounting instances of officers shooting fleeing protesters. In response, President Ruto denied responsibility for the violence, asserting he hadn’t sanctioned lethal police actions.

Meanwhile, Kenyan authorities have issued warrants for anti-Finance Bill protesters as demonstrations continue unabated.

Sahara Reporters

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