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Protesters Force Nairobi’s Hand

Kenyan lawmakers scrapped some unpopular tax hikes in a controversial finance bill after protesters spearheaded widespread criticism of the plans. Demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday, prompting the police to make dozens of arrests and fire tear gas. President William Ruto chaired a parliamentary committee meeting early on Tuesday to discuss the bill. Acknowledging widespread discontent, lawmakers announced after the meeting that several plans would be dropped, including the annual motor vehicle tax, VAT on bread and higher taxes on mobile money transfers. The finance bill, first tabled in May, proposed removing VAT exemptions on bread, tax hikes on mobile money transfers, and a new annual tax on motor vehicles. It prompted widespread criticism from the public.