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Court rejects suspension of affordable housing tax

Court rejects suspension of affordable housing tax

A three-judge panel refused to grant a stay of the affordable housing levy on the grounds that granting such an order would not be in the public interest.

“The balancing of the public interest suggests that the orders should not be complied with…,” the court stated.

The Court found that the applicants had not put forward any grounds justifying the issuance of an interim injunction.

The application was rejected for lack of justification and was given priority treatment.

On May 15, Chief Justice Martha Koome appointed the three-judge panel comprising Justice Olga Sewe, Justice John Chigiti and Justice Josephine Mongare to hear the case concerning the affordable housing levy.

Five plaintiffs led by Dr Magare Gikenyi Benjamin had applied for interim injunctions in court to stop the implementation of the Affordable Housing Act, which was signed by President William Ruto in March this year.

The other applicants were Pauline Kinyanjui, Philemon Nyakundi, Shallum Nyakundi and Jamlick Orina, who identified themselves as residents of Nakuru and opposed the bill on the grounds that it attempted to introduce “communist ideologies”.

“The Affordable Housing Act 2024 essentially seeks to introduce communist ideologies, but there is no place in the Constitution that allows the government to introduce communist ideologies. Kenya is not a communist state and the Constitution does not provide for it,” the petitioners said.

They further argued that the national government had taken over the housing function from the county governments and that the law had introduced “a shady institution, the ‘collector’, to collect the funds” instead of the Kenya Revenue Authority.