Kenya’s government closed schools in the capital and two other regions on Wednesday as the East African economic powerhouse prepares for three days of demonstrations over the cost of living, which the president said he would not allow.
Two rounds of protests earlier this month turned violent when police fired tear gas, and in some cases live ammunition, into crowds. At least 15 people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Kenya’s opposition called for the protests in part over tax increases passed last month by the government of President William Ruto, who was elected last August pledging to support the interests of the poor but has seen commodity prices soar under his administration.
The government said the fuel and housing charges, which are expected to raise an additional 200 billion shillings (25 billion rand) a year, are needed to help deal with rising debt payments and fund job creation initiatives.