Kenyan President, William Ruto Fires His Entire Cabinet After Weeks of Protests

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President William Ruto has immediately disbanded his cabinet, a move likely aimed at addressing the demands of protesters who have spent two weeks calling for the end of his administration. His revenue-raising efforts through tax increases have faced challenges, with the Kenyan Revenue Authority failing to meet its 2023 tax targets.

“I have decided to dismiss with immediate effect all the cabinet secretaries and the Attorney General of the cabinet of Kenya, except the prime cabinet secretary and cabinet secretary for diaspora affairs. The office of the vice president is not affected in any way,” Ruto said in a televised address on Thursday. 

Ruto announced plans to conduct extensive consultations across various sectors and political groups to establish a “broad-based” government. This government will help tackle issues such as debt burden, increasing domestic resources, reducing government wastage and corruption, and expanding job opportunities for the youth.

“During this process, the operations of government will continue uninterrupted under the guidance of Principal Secretaries and other relevant officials,” Ruto said.

On Tuesday, the president reached out to opposition leader Raila Odinga in an effort to ease the month-long tensions gripping the country. The crisis began after the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition ignored calls to reject the controversial 2024 Finance Bill, which was eventually withdrawn on June 25 following protests that overwhelmed parliament.

Initially focused on new taxes on bread, cars, diapers, and sanitary towels, the protests have evolved into demands for Ruto’s resignation, with accusations against his government of corruption, extrajudicial killings, abductions, and incompetence.

In response to the withdrawal of the tax bill, Ruto has reduced the 2024/2025 budget by $1.3 billion, nearly half of the $2.7 billion in additional revenue the administration had anticipated from the proposed taxes in the now-scrapped bill.

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