President William Ruto

The Court of Appeal's decision not to prolong a ruling enabling government agencies to keep gathering the housing fee was a setback for President William Ruto this morning.

There is a preponderance of the greater good in rejecting the government's requested order, according to a trio of justices.

"We believe that the public interest is best served by rejecting the requested stay or suspension." On behalf of the public interest, Justices Lydia Achode, John Mativo, and Mwaniki Gachoka said that it is prudent to wait for the matters brought up in the planned appeals to be resolved.

Since the tax unfairly affects certain people, the government has requested the Court of Appeal stay the High Court's ruling that the charge is unconstitutional.

Three High Court justices found last year that the Housing Levy, which was introduced via a repeal of the Employment Act under Section 84 of the Finance Act, 2023, violates Articles 10, 201, 206, and 210 of the Constitution since it needs a complete legal basis.

Additionally, Justices David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi argued that it is disproportionate, unlawful, and ridiculous to advocate the national housing policy by imposing the housing levy on individuals in formal employment while excluding other non-formal income earners.

The appellate court stated in its ruling that the pertinent question is whether, given the facts of the case, it would serve the public interest to enable a statute that has been determined to be lawfully illegal to remain in effect until the appeal is heard.

Neither of us think so. The reasoning for this is that any activities made within the time between the passage of the challenged legislation would be legally weak if the court that hears the appeal upholds their constitutional illegality, according to the justices.

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