Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Kenya: 2024 Finance Bill – Ignore Fake Letter Claiming That Kenyan Police Have Approved Nationwide Protests

2024 Finance Bill: Ignore fake letter claiming that Kenyan police have approved nationwide protests

IN SHORT: A letter allegedly signed off by Kenya’s Inspector General of Police authorising a nationwide demonstration on 20 June 2024 is circulating on social media in Kenya. However, the letter is fake.

In May 2024, Kenya published its Finance Bill 2024. The bill proposes several new taxes, and there are fears that it will worsen the cost of living crisis if passed.

To show their disapproval, Kenyans took to the streets on 18 June to protest against the new tax proposals. In response, the government scrapped some of them, but Kenyans remain adamant in their rejection of the entire bill and have scheduled a second day of protests for 20 June.

In this context, a letter supposedly signed off by Japhet Koome, the Inspector General (IG) of the National Police Service (NPS), is circulating. The letter claims that the police have authorised the second round of protests.

“Following the recent application for permission to hold a public strike, I hereby grant authorisation for the citizens to peacefully assemble and demonstrate,” the circulated letter reads.

Dated 19 June, it bears the logo of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), which manages the human resources function of the NPS.

The letter has been posted and republished on various Facebook pages and groups. Some of the captions include:

  • Finally, Police IG Koome has granted us the go-ahead with tomorrow’s demonstrations.
  • It’s all systems Go for tomorrow’s demonstrations 20/6/2024 as IG Koome gives in.
  • Permission Granted. IG Koome grants kenyans aggrieved by the #RejectFinanceBill2024 the right to peaceful protests outside parliament tomorrow 20th.

The letter has also been posted here and here. (Note: See more instances listed at the end of this report.)