President William Ruto has suffered another blow after the High Court in Nairobi declined to lift the orders suspending the implementation of the contentious Finance Act 2023 thrusting his push into new tax regime in disarray and exposing Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) into possible contempt charges for defying previous court orders.
In her ruling today, High Court Judge Justice Mugure Thande stated that the respondents did not satisfy her to set aside the conservatory orders.
“I am inclined to exercise my jurisdiction and allow the prayer for certification under Article 165 (4) of the Constitution. In view of the foregoing, I find that it has not been demonstrated to my satisfaction grounds warranting the setting aside of the orders of 30th of June 2023.” Justice Thande stated.
Consequently, Justice Thande forwarded the petition file to Chief Justice Martha Koome to constitute a bench of not more than three judges to hear the suit afresh.
“Pursuant to Article 165 (4), this matter is certified as raising a substantial question of law and the file is hereby transmitted to the Chief Justice for assignment of a bench of not less than three judges to hear and determine the petition.” Justice Thande told a pensive court.
The High Court Judge issued the conservatory orders blocking the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 on Friday, June 30 following an application by Busia Senator Okoiti Okiya Omtatah.
“That I am satisfied that the Application meets the test for conservatory orders and I do grant prayers 2 and 3 of the Application until 5.7.23 when the matter is scheduled for mention for directions.” Read the order.
Justice Thande extended the orders on Wednesday, July 5 after hearing submissions from Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, Solicitor General Shadrack Mose, and Lawyer Githu Muigai who was representing Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u.