Tourism CS Mutua Condemns Finance Bill Protests, Blames Protesters for Officer's Injury

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua addressing the media during his visit to Narok in April 2024.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua addressing the media during his visit to Narok in April 2024.
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Alfred Mutua

Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Dr. Alfred Mutua, has condemned recent protests against the Finance Bill 2024, decrying the violence that left a senior police officer severely injured.

Speaking during the National Wildlife Census launch in Narok, Mutua expressed dismay over the "Occupy Parliament" demonstration in Nairobi, which resulted in Chief Inspector David Karuri Maina losing both his arms.

Mutua, visibly moved, described Maina's injuries as life-changing and pleaded for an end to what he termed as unwarranted activism and violence.

“We have a police officer who has lost both of his arms, today he is disabled. That man is a son, a husband, and a father he has been disabled in the line of duty by demonstrators. To those young girls and boys demonstrating, how do you feel that that man is disabled?” questioned Mutua

“My beautiful young people who are being driven by propaganda, look at the facts, don’t get involved in activism and violence that leads to bloodshed. That officer who lost his hands, his blood is on you,” Mutua added.

The Tourism CS pledged financial support, announcing a donation of Ksh1 million alongside Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu to aid in the officer's recovery and support his family.

File photo of Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Alfred Mutua as he shakes hands with President Wlliam Ruto at an event
File photo of Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Alfred Mutua as he shakes hands with President Wlliam Ruto at an event
PCS

Expressing further disappointment with those opposing the Finance Bill, Mutua stressed that the legislation had undergone thorough review and amendment based on public feedback. "Taking to the streets is uncalled for since these demands have been met," he asserted, urging Kenyans to accept the economic realities necessitating such fiscal measures.

Despite the constitutional right to protest, Mutua cautioned against actions driven solely by activism, stressing the importance of lawful engagement for national progress.

He pointed out concerns over escalating disrespect towards law enforcement officers, underscoring their pivotal role in maintaining order and responding to public safety.

The protests in Nairobi intensified with over 200 demonstrators arrested amidst clashes with police.

Nairobi Police Commander Adamson Bungei confirmed the arrests, citing a lack of prior police approval for the protests, which led to the deployment of tear gas to disperse crowds.

The demonstrations, primarily driven by opposition to proposed tax increases in the Finance Bill, have sparked widespread debate and engagement across civil society. The Law Society of Kenya, President Faith Odhiambo criticised police actions, alleging tear gas used on lawyers attempting to access clients detained during the protests.

Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka has hinted at continued demonstrations should the Finance Bill pass in its current form. 

Police man the streets in the CBD while protestors are engaged in running battles with the police during protests on June 18, 2024
Police man the streets in the CBD while protestors are engaged in running battles with the police during protests on June 18, 2024
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Peter Ndung'u/ Rex Maina
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