The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) now says that Kenyans will suffer if the court does not lift the suspension of the Finance Act 2023.
Represented by their lawyer, KRA said that the goal of the petitioners is to disrupt revenue collection for vulnerable Kenyans. In the case, Senator Okiya Omtatah and 6 others have argued that the Finance Act is unlawful and should be quashed.
Lawyer Githu Muigai representing the CS Treasury and Planning told Justice Mugure Thande that the order issued last Friday will bring financial turmoil to the nation. Muigai argued that the order implies that the government is unable to spend any shilling, such as Omtatah’s salary to sit at the senate. He stated that the suspension of the Act has compromised the entire budget.
However, lawyer Otiende Omollo representing one of the petitioners contradicted Muigai’s statements by saying that the Act does not prevent the government from collecting taxes. He added that the bill does not bar the government from paying bills and salaries as alleged by the state. On Friday, Justice Thande ordered the suspension of the Finance Act pending a hearing and determination of the suit.
Meanwhile, Omtatah divulged that four additional clauses were sneaked into the Finance Bill 2023 before the President assented to the bill on June 26. During an interview with NTV on the 30th of June, he mentioned that the Bill had thirteen clauses when it was passed by Parliament, yet the edition that was handed to Ruto for his signature had seventeen.