Kenya Shilling Weakens Against Dollar as President Ruto Rescinds Finance Bill, 2024

The Kenya Shilling faced a slight devaluation against the US Dollar following President William Ruto’s decision to retract the controversial Finance Bill, 2024.

The sudden move by President Ruto came in response to mounting pressure from thousands of discontented Kenyans who vehemently opposed the punitive measures outlined in the bill.

The repercussions of this decision were felt almost immediately, with the country experiencing widespread anti-tax protests on Tuesday, ultimately leading to President Ruto’s announcement of the bill’s withdrawal on Wednesday evening.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) reported a 0.5 percent decline in the value of the shilling against the greenback, with the exchange rate now standing at 129.1 units to the dollar, compared to 128.5 units just a day earlier.

What it Means as Shilling Depreciates

When the local currency depreciates, imports become more expensive, so locals often buy fewer imported goods.

Also Read: Why Kenya Shilling Can’t Hold Grip Against Dollar for Long

On the other hand, exported goods cost less to international buyers, so their demand tends to grow.

Fewer imports and more exports will reduce the trade deficit and could lead to a surplus.

During a press conference held at State House, Nairobi, President Ruto expressed his acquiescence to the public outcry, declaring that he would not endorse the bill into law.

“I concede,” said President Ruto during a presser at State House, Nairobi, adding that he would not sign the bill into law.

Shilling Value Falls on News of Ruto Rescinding Finance Bill 2024
President William Ruto when he addressed the nation Tuesday evening over his decision to return Fiance Bill 2024 to Parliament

However, the aftermath of these events has seen heightened tensions in the capital, prompting a heavy deployment of police forces around State House as Kenyans took to social media to advocate for a march to the president’s official residence.

President Ruto to Resign

What initially began as demonstrations to dissuade the president from enacting the bill has escalated into calls for his resignation, with the rallying cry of “Ruto Must Go.”

The bill had been passed by parliament on Tuesday amidst countrywide protests, culminating in a breach of parliament premises by demonstrators who vandalized the interior and set parts of the complex ablaze.

The symbolic ceremonial mace, representing the authority of the legislature, was also stolen during the chaos.

The events surrounding the Finance Bill 2024 and President Ruto’s decision to retract it have painted clear the deep-seated discord and discontent among the Kenyan populace.

The subsequent devaluation of the Kenya Shilling against the US Dollar serves as a tangible manifestation of the economic and political ramifications of poor governance.

The path forward remains uncertain, with calls for accountability and change reverberating throughout the country.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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