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The attack on the Parliament of Kenya is a reflection of some three crises that have characterised the African continent, Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, a former senior governance advisor to the United Nations, has observed.

Democratic practice, leadership and governance as well as a weakened economy, according to the Professor, are the three main crises the continent is battling, citing them as the reason the Kenyan youth attacked the legislature in Parliament.

Commenting on the incident on the KeyPoints Saturday, the CEO of the John Kufuor Foundation averred that what happened in Kenya should serve as a “very strong lesson for Africa generally.”

Speaking about the crises bedeviling the continent, he said the Kenyan disturbances “reflect three main crises on the continent. One is what I see as the crisis of democratic practice, second is crisis of leadership and governance in African and the perennial crisis of how our economies have no legs to stand on.”

Although  he says “what triggered this crisis as all of us know was the attempt by government to raise some billions of dollars to meet its debt obligations which are due sometime this year October or so. So, for the government, it was just easy to turn around and slap a number of taxes on citizens as a way of raising the debt that this and previous governments have recklessly accumulated irresponsibly”, it is “the cumulative effect of these kinds of reckless borrowing that many African countries get themselves involved in.”

Several people were killed and hundreds injured as thousands of demonstrators stormed Kenya’s parliament to protest a controversial tax bill on Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds.

At least three of the dead were shot as protesters overwhelmed police as they entered and set fire to parts of the parliament buildings.

Addressing the nation, Kenyan President William Ruto called the storming of parliament promised to prevent it from happening again “at whatever cost.”

The protests forced lawmakers to flee the legislature where earlier they had debated and passed the unpopular bill.

The bill included new taxes on items such as bread, vegetable oil, sugar, and manufactured goods, including sanitary towels and diapers. The government says the taxes are necessary to fund development programs and reduce the country’s public debt.

‘There is a need to rethink democratic practice in Africa’ – Prof. Agyeman-Duah on Kenyan disturbances