Milly wa Jesus apologises after backlash for missing Finance Bill protests

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Content creators Milly WaJesus and her husband Kabi WaJesus. (Courtesy)

Popular Kenyan content creators Milly WaJesus and her husband Kabi WaJesus have apologised for missing the initial protests against the Finance Bill 2024.

Thousands of Kenyans, including celebrities like actress Jackie Matubia and content creator Murugi Munyi, took to the streets of Nairobi on Tuesday to protest the proposed bill.

The demonstrations, called "Occupy Parliament," resulted in clashes with police who deployed teargas to disperse crowds.

Several protesters, including activists Hanifa Adan and Njeri wa Migwi, were arrested.

Milly wa Jesus, who has a large following on social media, addressed her absence from the protests in an Instagram post.

"Let me begin by stating that I #rejectthefinancebill2024," she wrote. “I’ve spent the morning catching up on yesterday’s events and want to clarify my stand. I understand we let our audience down by not engaging in the conversation promptly, particularly yesterday, and I apologize for that.”

She explained they had been away since Friday but vowed to continue raising awareness about the bill.

“We’ve been away since Friday. Therefore despite the delay, I refuse to ignore the issue or remain silent due to guilt, condemnation, or pressure. I commend everyone who participated in the march and those who used their platforms and voice to educate, support and encourage. We are all in this together! We have until Thursday, so let’s continue our efforts to reject the finance bill,” she concluded.

Her husband, Kabi WaJesus, echoed her sentiment on his own Instagram page.

"We reject the punitive finance bill 2024," he wrote. "While we couldn't be there for yesterday's public protest, we fully support the movement. Huge thanks to everyone who showed up, especially the inspiring Gen Z.”

Their statements come after criticism from Kenyans online who questioned the silence of some celebrities during the protests.

Meanwhile, actress Jackie Matubia shared an emotional video on Instagram after being teargassed by police.

“Mimi nimzalendo Leo nimekula teargas…I did it for everyone who couldn’t do it. May our voices as youth of this country be heard… #rejectthefinancebill,” she wrote.

Matubia further criticized the bill, stating, "Imagine imposing TAX on CANCER TREATMENT!!! On PADS, sasa tusinyeshe?

Content creator Murugi Munyi also faced tear gas during the protests. Sharing photos on Instagram, Munyi recounted the chaotic aftermath.

“We were running. I fell. My cousin came to pick me up. A tear gas canister exploded right next to us. I couldn’t breathe. So I couldn’t run. Before I knew it, a policeman manhandling me. Now we are at the back of a police van with a man who wasn’t even protesting, He was just entering his car,” she wrote.

Murugi Munyi arrested alongside other women during the Finance Bill protest. (Courtesy)

Singer Atemi Oyungu also shared her experience of being repeatedly teargassed on Twitter. "We were so boxed in. Hiding and coming out only to be teargassed again," she wrote.

The protests highlight the public anger towards the proposed tax measures outlined in the Finance Bill 2024.

Kenyans have until Thursday to voice their concerns before the bill is potentially passed.

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