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Kenya's Ruto dismisses Cabinet after protests

July 11, 2024

The president plans to form a new smaller government following weeks of protests over high taxes and poor governance.

Kenya's President Wiliiam Ruto speaks during a press conference at State House in Nairobi on July 4
Kenyan President William Ruto said he was looking to "slay the dragon of corruption" as he announced most of his cabinet would be dismissedImage: TONY KARUMBA/AFP

Kenyan President William Ruto on Thursday dismissed almost his entire Cabinet after anti-tax protests, with immediate effect.

"I have today, in line with the powers given to me by Article 1521 and 1525 B of the constitution and section 12 of the attorney general's act, decided to dismiss with immediate effect all the cabinet secretaries and attorney general of the Republic of Kenya," Ruto said in a televised address outside State House in Nairobi. 

Those who are to remain in their positions are prime cabinet secretary and Foreign Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

Ruto looking to establish 'broad-based government'

Ruto said he made the move after listening to the people and added that he "will immediately engage in extensive consultations across different sectors and political formations and other Kenyans, both in public and private, with the aim of setting up a broad-based government."

Ruto said this was necessary in order to expedite "radical measures" to deal with the debt burden, explore raising domestic resources and revenue, expanding job opportunities, eliminating wastage and "slaying the dragon of corruption."

Are Kenyan anti-tax protests being hijacked by 'criminals?'

Deadly protests a turning point

Ruto was forced to back down on planned tax hikes in the face of public outrage and protests that left dozens dead and hundreds injured.

Kenya's National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) earlier this month said 39 people had been killed and 361 were injured in countrywide protests that began in June.

The demonstrations began peacefully, but then descended into chaos that even saw country's parliament breached and ransacked.

 Prominent Gen-Z protester Hanifa Adan welcomed the announcement, writing on X: "THE PRESIDENT OF KENYA HAS DISSOLVED THE CABINET!!! THE POWER LIES WITH THE PEOPLE ALWAYS!!!!!" 

kb/lo (AFP, AP)