Finance Bill: Green Belt Movement calls for just policies


Youths demonstrate against the Finance Bill 2024 in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County on June 20, 2024.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Green Belt Movement terms the measures as counterproductive to climate justice.
  • Movement calls on legislators to engage in meaningful dialogue with other stakeholders.

The Green Belt Movement has implored the government to adopt just policies for a sustainable future in the wake of growing opposition to the Finance Bill 2024. 

This, as the movement said it “vehemently” opposes the bill that proposes more “punitive” taxes.

These measures, the Green Belt Movement said, are not only economically punitive but also counterproductive to the principles of climate justice and environmental conservation that the Green Belt Movement tirelessly advocates for.

According to the Green Belt Movement, the policies should economic, social, and environmental goals are pursued in harmony. 

“We cannot support a Bill that threatens to deepen social inequalities, as we stand by the words of Prof Wangari Maathai that ‘The living conditions of the poor must be improved if we really want to save our environment,’” said the Green Belt Movement. 

GBM argues that the proposed Finance Bill stands in stark opposition to the principles of climate justice and social equity and vehemently.

The movement called on legislators and policymakers to engage in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders to develop strategies that promote environmental sustainability without compromising the economic and social well-being of Kenyans.


Police officers look on as youths demonstrate against the Finance Bill 2024 in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County  on June 20, 2024.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

At the same time, the Green Belt Movement called for accountability, arguing that the country was walking a path it walked decades ago since “there is little assurance that funds raised through new measures proposed in the Finance Bill will be used responsibly and for the intended purposes.”

The contentious Bill seeks to introduce tax measures that, according to the Green Belt Movement, will disproportionately affect the lower and middle-income class.

This category, GBM said, are already struggling with high costs of living and increased taxation is bound to exacerbate poverty and widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

The movement's chairperson Nyaguthii Chege explained that as it was in the 90s, the IMF and the World Bank were lending Kenya money and that came with unrealistic demands.

“The question is, you raise money and you need to be accountable to the people who you are raising in their name,” said Ms Nyaguthii.

Kenya, she explained, is grappling with a burgeoning debt crisis, with the national debt reaching unprecedented levels.

“The 2024 Finance Bill, if passed, will likely involve increased borrowing to cover the budget deficit. This additional debt burden is unsustainable and threatens to plunge the country deeper into a financial abyss,” added the movement's Executive Director, Dorothy Aseyo.