Discontent over Kenya's Finance Bill 2024 that morphed into anti-government/William Ruto campaigns boiled over into widespread protests on Thursday, crippling business activity in major cities across the country.

The protests happened despite President William Ruto declining to assent to the contentious bill.

Reports from Nairobi, Ongata Rongai, Mombasa, Eldoret, Kisumu and other towns paint a picture of deserted commercial centres and a paralyzed business environment, underlining the potential for significant economic ramifications.

The demonstrations stem from a potent cocktail of frustrations: Kenyans are grappling with a rising cost of living, and the new tax measures which were outlined in the Finance Bill are seen as adding fuel to the fire.

This sentiment resonated with protestors across the country, highlighting the nationwide nature of the economic hardship.

While details are scarce, some reports suggest that the protests in Kisumu may have been more confrontational, with clashes erupting between police and demonstrators.

The full extent of the economic impact remains to be seen, but the disruption to business activity in major cities is undeniably troubling.

Beyond the immediate economic strain, the protests raise serious concerns about Kenya's broader economic health.

If the situation continues, it could have a ripple effect throughout the country, impacting businesses and livelihoods far beyond the areas experiencing demonstrations. Investors may grow wary, and essential services could be disrupted.

As of Friday, the future trajectory of the protests remains uncertain.

Kenyans are advised to stay informed on the latest developments and exercise caution if travelling to areas experiencing demonstrations.

Businesses in major cities are likely to face an uphill battle until a resolution is reached regarding the Finance Bill.

The coming days will be crucial in determining how Kenya navigates this economic and social storm.

Addressing the root causes of the discontent and finding common ground will be essential to restoring stability and ensuring a sustainable path forward for the nation.