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High court extends orders barring implementing of the Finance Act, 2023

The government will wait longer for a chance to implement the Finance Act 2023.

This is after a Nairobi court on July 5, 2023, extended the interim orders halting the move to introduce new taxes.

Milimani High court Judge Mugure Thande issued the directive in a move the petitioners argue colud raise Sh211 billion more in taxes.

Justice Thande extended the interim orders suspending the implementation of the Act until she delivers a substantive ruling on suspension of the tax law july 10.

This is after she heard lengthy submissions running for seven hours from the parties involved in the legal dispute.

On the hiking of fuel prices, Justice Thande did not summons EPRA Managing Director Daniel Kiptoo Bargoria who is accused of increasing the prices of fuel despite a court order.

She however ordered the EPRA boss alongside the Attorney General Justin Muturi, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, plus Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate respectively Moses Wetangula and Amoson Kingi, to put in their responses by close of business July 7, 2023.

“The application for contempt of court was not coming for directions today and l direct the responces to be filed by close of business on July 7 and directions will be given thereafter on a date to be advised,” the judge said

In the lengthy submission made in court, Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, lawyers Otiende Amollo and Dan Maanzo urged the court to suspend the implementation of the impugned finance Act until the case is heard and determined saying it will subject Kenyans to slavery and servitude.

The Senator argued that the Finance Bill was only approved by Members of Parliament without the concurrence of the Senators this illegal

Omtatah attacked the entire act terming it unconstitutional saying it only unveils about expenditure without stating how it will raise revenue.

While urging the court to extend the interim orders, he said if the government is allowed to implement the new tax law it will negatively affect the tax payers.

Omtatah added that the Parliament erred by raising fuel prices by 16 percent while giving an estimation of how much money it intends to raise.

“You can not tax Kenyans without telling them how much money you intend to raise,” Omtatah stated

He stated that the power to tax people is anchored on the law which requires full participation of the two houses.

On his part Otieno Amollo, who doubles up as Rarieda MP, said the entire act is procedurally unconstitutional.

He faulted Wetangula for allowing the introduction of 22 new clauses at the floor of the house without public participation.

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