Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah and three other petitioners have taken action against the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling that lifted orders preventing the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.
They have issued a notice of appeal, stating their dissatisfaction with the Court of Appeal’s decision and their intention to file the appeal at the Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeal had lifted the suspension of the Finance Act 2023, which had been put in place last month, after Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u argued that the government was losing half-a-billion shillings daily due to the freeze.
The suspension was lifted pending the determination of an appeal filed by Ndung’u, who had moved to the appellate court through Attorney General Justin Muturi, highlighting the potential significant financial losses for the government.
The three judges of the appellate court, Justices Mohammed Warsame, Kathurima M’Inoti, and Hellen Omondi, ruled that the Finance Act has a 90-day life span, after which the next budgetary cycle is set in motion.
They emphasized the interdependence of the Finance Act and the Appropriation Act, with the former providing for the generation of funds and the latter for expenditure.
The petitioners’ main objections to the Finance Act 2023 were related to the passage of twenty-two sections of the Act that were not initially in the Bill but were introduced on the floor of the National Assembly.
They also challenged the adoption of another 40 provisions without the input of the Senate, asserting that such tax proposals required endorsement by the Senate.
Furthermore, the petitioners contested the adequacy of public participation in the law-making process.
By appealing to the Supreme Court, the petitioners aim to have their concerns about the Finance Act 2023 addressed and ensure that proper processes are followed in the implementation of the Act.
The outcome of the Supreme Court appeal will be crucial in determining the fate of the Finance Act and its impact on the government’s financial matters.