The Supreme Court on Friday, September 8, dismissed Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah’s petition challenging the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.
The ruling is a win for President William Ruto’s government which targets to raise more revenue with the Finance Act 2023 implementation.
Omtatah had filed a petition at the Supreme Court challenging the Court of Appeal decision that lifted a High Court order barring the Finance Act 2023.
“The four sets of written submissions filed out of time by the applicants on 15th August 2023 on the Court’s online platform are hereby struck out,” the judgment read in part.
While delivering the ruling, the Judges argued that suspension of the Finance Act would have affected government operations.
At the same time, the Judges explained that they had considered the principle of public interest, noting that the matter of revenue collection involves many people.
“The applicants’ notice of motion dated 5th August 2023 be and is hereby dismissed. There shall be no orders as to costs,” the Supreme Court ruled.
Opposing the Finance Bill 2023
Azimio leader Raila Odinga had led other opposition leaders in rejecting the Finance Bill 2023 before it was passed in Parliament.
For instance, on June 8, Raila asked President Ruto to drop the Finance Bill, arguing that it would overburden Kenyans with extra taxes.
Raila had suggested that the president should have sealed all loopholes that led to the loss of revenue instead of increasing taxes.
As a result, the Azimio leader led citizens in anti-government protests, in an attempt to oppose the implementation of the Finance Act but President Ruto remained firm.
However, President Ruto on June 26, signed into law the Finance Bill 2023 after its approval by the National Assembly on Wednesday, June 21.