A man in Mombasa, Kenya, set himself on fire on Thursday in a protest against Kenya’s economic difficulties. He climbed a statue in a busy area and ignited himself, supposedly to highlight the tough economic situation.
Many Kenyans are struggling due to high living costs, reduced business activity, and job losses. Some locals speculated that the man’s actions were linked to theft, which angered him.
A video that has gone viral shows the man pouring a possibly flammable liquid on himself and setting it alight. A Mombasa police officer who verified the event said the man was saved and is now receiving treatment at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, according to Africa News.
The rising living expenses in Kenya have been attributed to higher fuel prices, ongoing drought conditions, and the weakening of the local currency. People have protested before due to the elevated cost of living.
Kenyans have been upset about tax increases that the government approved, even though some parts were temporarily stopped by court order.
President William Ruto, who promised to help the poor and better their lives, has disappointed many citizens, according to political analysts.
Eleven months after taking office, the cost of living in Kenya has continued to rise, worsened by the new tax increases. The president’s measures, such as removing subsidies on staple foods like maize flour, contradict his promises and have hurt the very people he pledged to help, leading to feelings of betrayal among the citizens.
President Ruto claims that these measures will boost job creation and raise internal income. Upon taking office, Ruto faced a struggling economy burdened by high inflation, significant debt, unemployment, and economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.