Kenyans need to brace for significant disruptions on Wednesday, July 12, as the nation prepares for three (3) major protests happening across the country that are likely to impact various activities.
The opposition and other independent entities have called for protests in response to the rising cost of living and controversial tax increases outlined in the Finance Act, which has left many Kenyans disillusioned.
The strike notices indicate that major urban centers, cities, and essential service providers will likely be paralyzed as opposition politicians and essential service providers take to the streets.
During the Saba Saba demonstrations, Azimio la Umoja Raila Odinga announced nationwide protests as part of his continued call for civil disobedience. He made it clear that issues such as punitive taxes and the high cost of living are non-negotiable.
“And next week, on July 12 (Wednesday), we will have even more significant demonstrations throughout the country,” stated National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi.
“Today (on July 7) marked the beginning of this new wave of civil disobedience and mass action,” he added.
While expressing his views, the opposition leader supported the campaign to collect 10 million signatures, which drew criticism from the Kenya Kwanza leaders who argued that the signatures would not remove President William Ruto from office.
Azimio principal Martha Karua, however, clarified that the initiative aims to serve as a record of Kenyan citizens who support anti-government protests.
Taxi Association Protests
Taxi-hailing apps have announced a nationwide strike on Wednesday, July 12, to address several issues affecting the transport sector. The taxi-hailing association’s leadership has highlighted concerns such as insecurity, escalating fuel prices, and the payment rates set by digital companies.
A strong warning has been issued to all taxi-hailing drivers, urging them to keep their cars off the road during the strike. The leadership insists that the strike will continue until the government addresses their demands.
“Do not attempt to operate your car during the strike. We are warning you not to test the waters on the day of the strike,” a source told Kenyans.co.ke.
On June 21, 2023, Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) issued a 21-day strike notice in response to the mandatory re-testing exercise conducted by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). The deadline for the strike notice expires on Wednesday, July 12.
Supported by long-distance drivers and boda boda operators, the PSV operators argue that the mandatory re-testing is punitive and aimed at frustrating motorists. They are calling for their involvement in the decision-making process to ensure positive changes within the sector.
“The association urges constructive dialogue between the Ministry of Transport, the NTSA, and stakeholders to address concerns and find mutually beneficial solutions that prioritize safety and support drivers’ well-being,” stated a portion of a statement by the Long-Distance Drivers and Conductors Association (LODDCA).