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Babu Owino visits cop who lost both forearms in teargas explosion

 Embakasi East MP Babu Owino visits police officer who was injured in teargas explosion. [Facebook]

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, visited Chief Inspector David Maina, the police officer who lost his forearms during the Finance Bill protests held in the Nairobi CBD.

In a statement, the legislator thanked the medical team attending to the officer at Nairobi West Hospital, wishing him a speedy recovery.

“While CI Maina suffered terrible injuries, we are happy with the good work that the doctors and nurses of the Nairobi West Hospital are doing to ensure he recovers.

“It is unfortunate that anyone should suffer injuries in the exercise of citizens’ democratic rights,” he wrote.

Adding: “To our police brothers and sisters, these young people are fighting for you as well; do not accept to be used to stifle freedom in our beloved Kenya. This country belongs to all of us and we have no other so we must get it right.”

According to a police report seen by TNX, Chief Inspector Maina detonated the tear gas canister but delayed releasing it, leading to an explosion that damaged his hands.

As a result, he lost both of his forearms. Police Constable Mildred Amoit, who was near him during the incident, sustained minor injuries on the chest and was admitted to the same hospital where she is receiving treatment.

Finance Bill

A cornered President William Ruto was on Tuesday forced to withdraw some of the unpopular proposals in the Finance Bill, 2024.

Unlike last year when MPs from the ruling Kenya Kwanza coalition and friendly parties were whipped at the State House, the lawmakers on Tuesday had to retreat as day-long protests against the proposals rocked the city.

After a six-hour deliberations at State House, the President succumbed to pressure and allowed the amendments that included shelving of VAT on bread, taxes on motor vehicles, and imported diapers and sanitary towels.

The Finance Bill, which was later tabled in Parliament, sought to introduce 16 per cent VAT on bread, a 2.5 per cent Motor Vehicle tax and, a Sh150 per kilogram eco-tax on plastic packaging materials, batteries and hygiene products including diapers and sanitary pads.

The proposed tax on mobile money transfers and bank transactions that would have seen the excise duty transactions hiked to 20 per cent from 15 per cent was also scrapped.

 A woman and a boda-boda rider are caught in a cloud of tear gas thrown by police in Nairobi's CBD to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Finance Bill 2024, which was scheduled for debate and voting in Parliament. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The move by the government to climb down comes against the backdrop of pressure by citizens and civil societies, who mobilised wananchi through social media to come out to the streets to protest against the Bill.

The campaign also saw activists obtain and publish mobile telephone numbers of MPs to push them to reject the proposals.

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