One week after unknown persons leaked the phone numbers of Kenyan government officials online, hacker group Anonymous has threatened to expose “corrupt deals involving members of parliament (MPs)” if they vote to pass the 2024 Finance Bill on Thursday. 

Founded in 2003, Anonymous seeks “mass awareness and revolution against what the organization perceives as corrupt entities while attempting to maintain anonymity.” The group has been linked to Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS) attacks on websites belonging to the Tunisian and Zimbabwean governments.  

“There is a chance that all these secrets will be exposed to show how corrupt and unjust members of parliament are, embezzling funds for personal gain,” Anonymous warned MPs on X

The 2024 Finance Bill, criticised for proposing tax hikes on commodities like bread and sanitary towels, is deeply unpopular. Many Kenyans, already struggling with a spike in living costs, say the new taxes will worsen their already difficult situation. 

While many of those complaints began online, it soon spilled to the streets as hundreds of Kenyans attempted to gain access to the Parliament in Nairobi. It brought to mind the 2023 protests over living costs. MPs who support the bill say the taxes that attracted public ire, including motor vehicle and eco-tax, have been removed. 

However, opposing lawmakers and the Anonymous Group want the Bill scrapped altogether. “We do not want you to amend the Finance Bill; we want you to reject it,” the group posted on X. 

On Tuesday, hundreds of young Kenyans led protests nationwide. Kenyans in other major cities like Kisumu, Mombasa, and Eldoret—one of President William Ruto’s strongholds—have joined the movement. Police have surrounded Nairobi’s parliament buildings, where the second round of #OccupyParliament protests are focused. 

The debate on the bill resumed Thursday morning. Amendments are due by the afternoon and must be voted on before Thursday evening. MPs will discuss and vote on amendments for the third reading on June 25. 

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