Internet services shut down in Kenya due to massive protests over finance bill


London-based internet rights monitoring group NetBlocks has reported widespread internet disruptions following a wave of protests across Kenya, as police cracked down violently on citizens who took to the streets to protest a government bill that hikes taxes despite tough economic times and widespread corruption.

The disruption in internet access comes at a time when the country’s ICT regulator, the Communications Authority, said today that it had no plans to shut down or disrupt the internet today.

In the statement, the authority said it “had no intention to shut down internet traffic or hamper the quality of connectivity. Such action would be a betrayal of the entire Constitution, especially freedom of expression, and our own ethos.”

Users are reporting disrupted or slow internet connections, with NetBlocks confirming the disruption has also affected neighbouring Uganda and Burundi.

NetBlocks said, “Live network data shows major disruptions to internet connectivity in Kenya; the incident comes amid a deadly police crackdown on #RejectFinanceBill2024 protesters, despite authorities claiming a day earlier that the internet would not be shut down. The ongoing internet disruption has affected Kenya as well as neighbouring countries including Uganda and Burundi; the incident is likely to limit coverage of events in places where protests are taking place.”

In addition, intermittent outreach to social media platforms such as X has also been helpful in uniting the protesters.

Protesters are using platforms such as X and TikTok to publicise their concerns over the high cost of living, taxation, unfair debt accumulation and the rampant misuse of public resources by the political class, among other issues.

Protesters also used social media to demand judicious use of public resources and to draw the attention of political leaders. But when unable to get leaders to listen to them, they took to the streets to draw their attention.

On Tuesday, protesters stormed parliament as lawmakers voted to pass the bill, resulting in several deaths and injuries. The internet was then shut down.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update the post as we learn more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:




More like this