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High Court declares housing levy unconstitutional

A three-judge bench at the High Court has declared the housing  levy proposed in the Finance Act 2023 as unconstitutional.

Delivering the ruling on Tuesday, Justices David Majanja, Christine Meoli and Lawrence Mugambi said the deduction of the levy from employees is discriminatory and violates article 10 of the constitution.

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“We find that the introduction of the housing levy amendment section 84 lacks a comprehensive legal framework in violation of article 10 of the constitution, that levy against persons in formal employment to the exclusion of other non-formal income earners without justification is discriminatory and irrational,” stated Justice Majanja.

The court also found that it was unlawful for Cabinet Secretary of lands to authorize Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to collect 1.5pc from employees salaries as outlined under section 84 of the Finance act 2023.

The petition by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah and six others sought to stop the implementation of the of Act in its entirety.

They claimed its passage in Parliament was unprocedural, and that it will affect many Kenyans who are already overburdened by the current high cost of living.

The petitioners also sought to have the new law declared unconstitutional arguing that the Finance Act 2023 was illegal because the Bill did not pass through the senate as envisioned by the law.

They argued that there was no concurrence of both Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate on matters relating to counties.

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