Chief Justice Martha Koome has named a three-judge bench to preside over the Finance Act 2023 petition.
According to the CJ, who is the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya, the the judges are Justice David Majanja, Justice Lawrence Mogambi and Justice Christine Meori.
The judges will set the date for the hearing the matter, which could make or break President William Ruto’s quest to collect more revenue to finance his Ksh.3.6 trillion budget for the current financial year.
Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah and Azimio La Umoja One Coalition filed the petition to suspend the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.
Moreover, the petitioners claimed that Members of Parliament hurriedly passed the law without public participation.
Justice Mugure Thande in a ruling on Monday, July 10, said the Finance Act 2023 will proceed to a full trial at the Supreme Court.
The judge in her ruling stated that public interest lay in the momentary suspension of the Finance Act and that the State would not be prejudiced.
Consequently, she referred the case to the Chief Justice to constitute a three-judge bench to determine the case that handed Kenyans a sigh of relief.
The Court had suspended the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 on June 30, a day after President WIlliam Ruto assented to it at State House, Nairobi, throwing him off balance.
Also Read: Finance Act Suspension Extended to July 10
Finance Act blow to ruto and demos
The respondents in the case include the Attorney General Justin Muturi and the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u.
Through the piece of legislation, President Ruto seeks to mobilize an additional Kshs.211 billion in tax revenue for the current fiscal year.
Moreover, the controversial law introduced a 1.5 per cent housing levy, which sparked widespread condemnation.
Accordingly, the President maintains that Kenya must learn to finance her needs and live within means without depleting resources and burdening taxpayers through expensive loans.
However, Kenya is set to receive Ksh.142 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to meet its budgetary expenses.
IMF approved the loan on July 17, 2023, after its Executive Board completed the fifth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangements for Kenya.
Also Read: IMF Approves Loan for Kenya
In a statement, the IMF Deputy Managing Director, and Acting Chair Antoinette Sayeh stated that; “Kenya’s economy has been resilient despite the worst drought in many decades and a difficult external environment.”