CS Ababu Namwamba booed at Fred Omondi's Last Laugh show

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Youth and Sports CS Ababu Namwamba during the late Fred Omondi's Last Laugh Show. [Facebook]

Youth and Sports CS Ababu Namwamba was on Friday booed by Kenyans who had gathered at the Carnivore Simba Saloon to honour the late Fred Omondi.

The event, titled ‘Fred Omondi: The Last Laugh,’ attracted various celebrities celebrating the comedian's life, tragically cut short in a road accident last week.

When Namwamba took the stage to give his remarks, he was met with boos and chants of "Ruto must go," a reaction to his open support for the controversial Finance Bill.

In an attempt to de-escalate the situation, Namwamba acknowledged the booing as evidence of Kenya's democratic spirit.

“We recognize that energy, we appreciate it, but we shall pay respects to Fredrick (Fred) Omondi tonight. We live in an amazing country where everybody has a right to say their bit. Asanteni sana. Keep booing, keep cheering, keep saying no as others say yes,” he stated.

Despite the awkward moment, Namwamba proceeded to contribute Sh300,000 to Omondi's family, remarking that he had 'enjoyed' the boos. “Na leo make sure you get enough content. The booing is great content… I have enjoyed this,” he said.

The CS praised the late Omondi as a talented comedian taken too soon, whose work reflected Kenya’s democratic culture. He also reaffirmed his support for the Finance Bill, emphasizing the importance of taxes for national self-sustenance.

The late Fred Omondi.

“And so I was quite pleased to come face to face with some of our fellow citizens opposed to the #FinanceBill2024. When emotions settle, blinkers fall off and fact is sifted from fiction, reality will dawn: the reality that we have a country to build, a task in which each of us has a role, including the responsibility to pay taxes for national self-sustenance.

“I am delighted that the Creative Economy is a central pillar in the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda. And the Finance Bill will facilitate robust initiatives like the transformative #WhozNext project for Kenyan creatives, which we are rolling out next month under the Talanta Hela flagship. Kenya tunajenga pamoja,” he wrote.

This event occurred just days after Kenyans took to the streets to protest against the Finance Bill, which proposes increased taxes among other changes. Unlike previous demonstrations often led by politicians, this time millennials and Gen Z came out in large numbers, warning MPs that they would vote out all those who support the bill come 2027.

Protesters take cover from Water Cannon during Finance Bill demonstrations in Nairobi. [Dennis Kibuchi, Standard]
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