Home News Case hearing against Finance Act bill starts

Case hearing against Finance Act bill starts

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A three judge bench that was appointed by Martha Koome last month to hear and determine the Finance Act 2023 is set to start Pre-trial today, Monday. The three judges include David Majanja, Lawrence Mogambi and Christine Meori.
A three judge bench that was appointed by Martha Koome last month to hear and determine the Finance Act 2023 is set to start Pre-trial today, Monday. The three judges include David Majanja, Lawrence Mogambi and Christine Meori.

The three-judge bench empanelled by Chief Justice Martha Koome will today start hearing the petition challenging the implementation of President William Ruto’s new tax measures.

This comes even as human rights groups want the court to stop the government from backdating the new tax measures to July 1.

The Court of Appeal has since lifted High Court orders that suspended the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 allowing the government to start collecting the levies.

As such, the government has since backdated the remittance of the housing tax to July 1 and asked employers to remit the deductions when paying August salaries.

Seven human rights groups have filed a case under a certificate of urgency seeking to have the government stopped from backdating the taxes.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission, Katiba Institute, The Institute for Social Accountability, Transparency International Kenya, International Commission of Jurist, Siasa Place and Tribeless Youth all argue that backdating the taxes would have adverse effects on the health and livelihoods of Kenyans if conservatory orders are not issued.

The petitioners have asked the court to suspend the particular sections of the Finance Act especially that which introduces the housing tax and increases VAT on fuel products.

Judges David Majanja (presiding), Christine Meoli and Lawrence Mugambi will sit at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi to hear the matter.

In the case, Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has challenged the legality of the Finance Act arguing it did not pass through the Senate yet it affects matters touching on counties like housing.

The petitioners will be asking the judges to suspend implementation of specific clauses including that which introduces the housing tax.

Elsewhere, former Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong will take to the stand to defend himself against charges of embezzling Sh9 million from the county coffers during his administration.

Ojaamong was charged with two counts of corruption and abuse of office.

At the Chief Magistrate’s court, Kitusuru MCA Alvin Palapala’s case will be coming up for pretrial.

The MCA was last month charged with subversive activities after authorities accused him alongside other ODM members of recruiting and planning the violent anti-government protests.