Blow to government as High Court suspends Finance Act 2023

Blow to government as High Court suspends Finance Act 2023

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah. File Photo

The High Court has suspended temporarily the implementation of the Finance Act, 2023 from taking effect for a week.

This follows a petition tabled by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah challenging the Finance Act, 2023 seeking to have some sections of the law purged.

Lady Justice Mugure Thande ruled in Omtatah's favour suspending the law from taking effect tomorrow, July 1, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the suit filed by Mr Omtatah.

"That I am satisfied that the Application meets the test for conservatory orders and I do grant prayers 2 and 3 of the Application until 5.7.23 when the matter is scheduled for mention for directions," ruled Justice Thande.

In his amended petition, Omtatah says that the Finance Bill contains amendments to several laws that have nothing to do with raising revenue and laws that affect the work of the Senate to protect the interests of counties and their governments.

“Forcing employees to contribute an amount of money based on the applicable blanket deductible percentage without consideration of their existing contractual obligations on their salaries is not reasonable,” says Omtatah.

He further argues it is a mandatory condition precedent that, before the Bill can be introduced for consideration in the originating House, a Speaker of one House of Parliament must first seek the concurrence of the Speaker of the other House of Parliament.

“In direct contravention of the mandatory requirement that any Bill introduced in the National Assembly, which includes provisions pertaining to county governments, must also be introduced to the Senate for concurrence, the Finance Bill 2023 was not submitted to the Senate,” he states.

He now wants the court to quash some Sections of the Original Finance Act 2023 which did not get input from the Senate adding that the Speaker of the National Assembly violated Article 110(3) of the Constitution by introducing the Finance Bill 2023 in the National Assembly without first determining, jointly with the Speaker of the Senate, whether the Bill concerned county government. 


High Court Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah Finance Act 2023 Lady Justice Mugure Thande

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