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Kenyan President scraps first, second ladies’ offices budgets, cuts advisers

Ruto Agonistes

Kenyan President William Ruto has scrapped the budgets for the offices of first and second ladies.

The embattled Kenyan leader also dissolved 47 state agencies in a move to cut down government expenditure and pacify dissatisfied youths who have been on the streets for the past three weeks.

Ruto made this announcement during a broadcast on Friday while apologising to protesters clashing with security agents on the streets.

Budget lines providing for the operations of the offices of the First Lady, the spouses of the Deputy President, and the Prime Cabinet Secretary shall be removed,” said Ruto.

The president, who had earlier withdrawn the Finance Bill, which triggered the nationwide protest, has also suspended non-essential travel for government officials and workers. He also stopped the purchase of new vehicles and cut down his advisers by half.

The protests erupted in Nairobi three weeks ago in response to a bill, seeking to increase tax.

The protests have morphed into broader discontent with Ruto’s leadership and accusations of police brutality.

Human rights groups claimed 39 protesters have been killed by security forces, with the most brutal crackdown happening last week Tuesday after the parliament passed the bill.

Ruto has since dropped the bill, but the protesters are now demanding his resignation.

Unrest has spread beyond Nairobi, with demonstrations erupting in major cities like Mombasa and Kisumu.

SOURCE: Businessday

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