On 15 May 1995, the Alliance for Change (AFC), a coalition of opposition leaders in Ghana, organized a demonstration that came to be known by the name Kume Preko (which translates as Kill me once and for all) to protest the government's new value-added tax (VAT) policy. During the demonstration, armed supporters of Jerry Rawlings, Ghana's president, set upon the marchers, killing four people, including a fourteen-year-old boy. The AFC charged that members of the ruling party were implicated in the killings. It also dismissed a police report on the incident as a cheap and fraudulent cover-up that was contradicted by the abundant evidence. An article in the leading opposition newspaper, the
Ghanaian Chronicle, criticized Rawlings's government for flouting the constitutional right to public dissent and called the violence against the demonstrators Hitlerism in Ghana. The Kume Preko violence dealt Rawlings a political blow: it dented his image as a man of the people and the credibility of his commitment to a new liberal democratic political regime in Ghana.