Senator Okiya Omtatah of Busia, alongside three other petitioners, have expressed their disagreement with a recent Court of Appeal ruling that removed the block on implementing the Finance Act 2023. They’ve signalled their intention to take their case to the Supreme Court, indicating their discontent with the appellate court’s decision.
The Court of Appeal had previously removed the hold on the Finance Act 2023 after Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u argued that the pause was causing the government to lose half a billion shillings every day. The removal of the suspension was dependent on an appeal filed by Ndung’u, who expressed concerns over the government’s substantial financial losses. The appeal was forwarded to the appellate court via Attorney General Justin Muturi.
Appellate court judges Mohammed Warsame, Kathurima M’Inoti, and Hellen Omondi decided that the Finance Act has a lifespan of 90 days before the following budget cycle is initiated. They stressed the mutual dependence of the Finance Act and the Appropriation Act, noting that the former is responsible for funds generation while the latter handles expenditure.
The petitioners disagreed with twenty-two sections of the Finance Act 2023 which were added on the floor of the National Assembly and were not initially in the Bill. They also protested the acceptance of another 40 provisions without the Senate’s input, arguing that such tax propositions needed Senate approval. They questioned the level of public involvement in the legislative process.
By turning to the Supreme Court, the petitioners hope to resolve their concerns about the Finance Act 2023 and ensure that the proper procedures are adhered to in executing the Act. The Supreme Court’s decision will play a pivotal role in determining the future of the Finance Act and its influence on the government’s fiscal affairs.