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Kenyan Comedian Eddie Butita Faces Backlash Over Ambivalence on Finance Bill Debate

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Kenyan comedian and scriptwriter Eddie Butita has found himself in the midst of controversy after seeming indecisive about the contentious Finance Bill and the ensuing ‘Occupy Parliament’ protests, drawing ire from various quarters.

In recent days, as Kenyans, including celebrities and politicians, took firm stances on the Bill—many condemning it and openly supporting protests—Butita’s stance appeared less clear, leading to widespread criticism.

Initially, Butita, who recently accompanied President William Ruto on a high-profile US State visit, shared his thoughts on the Bill, indicating he had raised concerns and expected action.

“As a responsible citizen, I have raised issues on the Finance bill, especially concerning the creative economy,” he stated. “I have engaged both formally and informally, and I am confident action will be taken. Creatives support taxation; we seek a balanced approach.”

Critics found his statement politically correct and vague, urging him to take a definitive position like others.

Responding to the mounting pressure, Butita attempted to clarify his stance with another tweet, but it only reinforced accusations of fence-sitting.

In a subsequent tweet, Butita simply posted “Article 37…”, prompting further criticism for not elaborating on its relevance.

Critics pointed out, “Article 37 guarantees the right to assemble and protest peacefully. But you can’t just leave it there if you’ve been promised a comedy gig in California. Let’s see who’ll be laughing at your jokes.”

The backlash intensified online, with demands for clarity from other public figures, including DJ Joe Mfalme and Andrew Kibe, who also faced criticism for their perceived positions on the Finance Bill.

The saga underscores the challenges public figures face in navigating sensitive political issues, highlighting the expectations of clear and decisive engagement from the public.

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