Kenya's Ruto dismisses most of his cabinet after weeks of deadly protests

Kenyan President William Ruto plans to form a smaller new government after firing most of his cabinet following weeks of deadly protests against his plan to raise more than $2 billion in new taxes.

Kenyan President William Ruto announced on Thursday the dismissal of almost his entire cabinet and consultations to form a "broad-based government" following widespread anti-government protests.

The East African nation was left reeling after peaceful rallies last month over steep tax increases flared into deadly violence with police firing at crowds who stormed parliament, leaving it partly ablaze.

Led largely by young, Gen-Z Kenyans, the protests plunged Ruto's administration into the most serious crisis of his presidency, forcing him to abandon the tax hikes and scramble to contain the damage.

In the latest move to defuse tensions, Ruto said his decision would extend to all ministers including the attorney-general but excluded prime cabinet secretary and foreign minister Musalia Mudavadi and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

Ruto said he decided on the dismissals "upon reflection, listening keenly to what the people of Kenya have said and after a holistic appraisal of the performance of my cabinet and its achievements and challenges".

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!!!!!"

Public debt amounts to some 10 trillion shillings ($78 billion), around 70 percent of Kenya's GDP.

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