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Inside Ruto’s First Cabinet Meeting After Protests

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The Cabinet met on Thursday for a briefing on the security situation in the country following days of chaos that saw protestors strom Parliament.

The meeting at State House Nairobi, which was chaired by President William Ruto, was informed that though the riots started as a protest against the tax measures proposed in the Finance Bill 2024, they were infiltrated, hijacked and taken over by criminal and opportunistic political forces.

The two groups have in the past two weeks reigned terror on the people of Kenya in the cities, towns and other urban areas, occassioning loss of life, destruction of National and County governments’ buildings, infrastructure, vehicles, homes and businesses.

Due to the threat posed to Parliament, the Supreme Court and other infrastructure, the Cabinet was informed that all national security agencies, including the military, were deployed to forestall the break down of law and order.

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The Cabinet was also informed that the security agencies have stabilised the situation and are continuing to monitor the developments.

The members commended security officers, pointing out that they on the whole acted professionally in very difficult circumstances. The Cabinet also noted that security agencies did a good job of protecting the country from anarchists.

The President said the government must now focus on charting a new future for the country, pointing out that significant changes must be made to align with that new future.

On any officers who may have acted outside the confines of the law, the Cabinet said they will be dealt with in accordance with legal procedure and by the institutions mandated to do so.

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The Cabinet also called for action against those who have committed heinous crimes of arson, looting and robbery, among others, saying such atrocities must not go unpunished.

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On the withdrawn Finance Bill, President Ruto said the National Treasury is reorganising the budget to accommodate the new reality.

This will include substantial cutting down of budgets to “balance between what to be implemented and what can wait”, and ensuring that key national programmes are not affected.

“Our plan is good and solid and, in the fullness of time, we shall be vindicated,” President Ruto said.

On other agenda, the Cabinet discussed the implementation of the Kenya Urban Improvement Project in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

This includes the phased out upgrade of the 163km Nairobi Commuter Rail. The first phase of the upgrade will comprise improving the  58km commuter rail between the Nairobi Central Railway Station and Thika.

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The project will also include acquisition of new locomotives and improvement of non-motorised transport infrastructure, and feeder roads along the Nairobi Commuter Rail network.

The Cabinet also approved the following Bills  policies:

Kenya Secondary Education Equity and Quality Improvement Programme

Kenya-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

Co-Hosting of the Second Edition of the African Continental Free Trade Area Youth Symposium on September 5-7, 2024

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Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill 2024

Ratification of Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Kenya and various countries, including Somalia, Morocco, Algeria, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Guinea, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

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