Tanzania's Foreign Minister Commends Kenyans for Voicing Concerns Through Finance Bill 2024 Protests

Demonstrations in Nairobi CBD on June 18, 2024.
Demonstrations in Nairobi CBD on June 18, 2024.

Tanzanian Foreign Minister January Makamba on Tuesday, June 18, found himself in the midst of Nairobi City commotion brought about by demonstrations against Finance Bill 2024.

Makamba had travelled to Nairobi with his delegation to launch the construction of a twin-tower building that will house the Tanzanian embassy in Kenya. 

Speaking to reporters, he revealed that he knew there would be demonstrations in Nairobi beforehand but still went ahead with the trip. 

“It is quite an eventful day in Nairobi, from the commotion we see in town,” he spoke of the chaos witnessed within the capital.

Tanzania Foreign Minister January Makamba
Tanzania Foreign Minister January Makamba
January Makamba

While he remained calm throughout the process, he mentioned that his team had expressed concerns and attempted to cancel the visit earlier.

Makamba noted that he respected individuals' right to protest, which influenced his decision not to cancel his trip.

“We believe that whatever we need to communicate to our people, our differences in opinions, in how we do things, and the expression of those differences can coexist in progress,” he explained. 

While the Minister was able to see the demonstrations happening in Nairobi, he was cushioned from any danger. 

He was able to speak to journalists from Upper Hill Nairobi where the building will be located. 

Earlier President William Ruto had remarked that it was healthy for democracy when Kenyans questioned their leaders on policies being created and implemented. 

“We are glad we are having conversations about issues, and our institutions are working,” he stated. 

Despite the President’s assurance, tens of activists were arrested for engaging in peaceful demonstrations in the Central Business District (CBD).

President William Ruto speaking in January 8, 2023
President William Ruto speaking in January 8, 2023
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