Govt Reprieve for Employees, Update on Makadara Court Shooting


Hello and welcome to the Friday edition of the Evening Brief Newsletter where Kenyans are finally getting some salary reprieve in the Finance Bill 2024.

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More Money for Employees

Salaried employees are set to earn more following two tax proposals made by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njunguna Ndung'u.

While reading the Budget Estimates for the 2024/2025 financial year, Ndung'u proposed to make the Housing Levy a deductible tax.

He explained that the move was necessitated by the double taxation that had been happening for employees. This is because the PAYE As You Earn (PAYE) and the Housing Levy were determined on the same gross salary rate.

Therefore, the new proposal will calculate PAYE after the Housing Levy has been deducted from the gross salary.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njunguna Ndung'u speaking in Parliament on June 13, 2024.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung'u speaking in Parliament on June 13, 2024.
Parliament of Kenya

For instance, if an employer's PAYE was being determined based on a gross pay of Ksh50,000 under the current model, their new taxable income under the new proposal will be (Ksh50,000 - 1.5 per cent Housing Levy).

"The Affordable Housing Levy and PAYE are calculated from the same base leading to double taxation. To address this, I propose to make the Housing Levy a deductible expense," he proposed.

"This means that there is a tax saving for Kenyans, therefore, affording Kenyans more money in their pockets," he stated.

On the other hand, employees in the private sector are bound to smile more after the CS proposed an adjustment to the tax-free rate for Per Diems from Ksh2,000 to 5 per cent of gross pay.

Per Diems are allowances paid to employees when they are working outside the office.

Currently, the government does not tax the first Ksh2,000 paid for the Per Diems. However, with the change, that amount will increase depending on the employee's salary.

Therefore those who earn more will have a wider tax-free Per Diem rate.

"Currently, the tax-free amount on subsistence allowance paid to employees in the private sector for a period spent outside the usual place of work while on official duties is capped at Ksh2,000 per day.

"This is quite low considering the inflation that has occurred over the years. To cushion employees in the private sector from the high cost of living, I propose to review the threshold to an amount not exceeding 5 per cent of the employee's monthly gross earnings," the CS stated.

Guess Who?

Can you guess who said these words?

"This Finance Bill, in which you are proposing more taxes, is not approved by the people. Now you want to tax cars and you didn't buy them for anyone, yet you want to take the money. And then you tell us to be quiet because we voted for this government. We will speak out. We have problems. The citizens are crying that the taxes are too much.”

To find the correct answer, simply scroll down as you read this newsletter.

Makadara Court Shooting 

A photo of the Makadara Law Courts
A photo of the Makadara Law Courts
The Judiciary Kenya

Meanwhile, advocates and stakeholders in the Judiciary have called on Kenyans to come to the rescue of Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti who was shot by a police officer on Thursday afternoon.

According to the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) male representative at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), Omwanza Ombati, the magistrate needed blood following her admission at a hospital in Buruburu.

The lawyer noted that the magistrate needed the blood urgently as medics worked around the clock to save her life.

“Urgent appeal for blood donation. Your kindness, selflessness, and love is highly appreciated," read part of the poster.

On their part doctors at the hospital indicated that they were forced to take the magistrate into surgery after her admission on Thursday.

"One of the patients had a gunshot wound to the chest, abdomen and pelvis and was greatly unstable.

"We did emergency resuscitation for the patient, then she was wheeled to the theatre where she is undergoing a multidisciplinary surgery being done by a team of four doctors," one of the doctors revealed to Citizen TV.

Turn of Events

  • The Principal Magistrate was hearing a case involving the rogue officer's wife. The wife had been accused of obtaining Ksh2.9 million by false pretence.
  • Having skipped court sessions on numerous occasions, the magistrate cancelled her bond. This enraged the rogue cop who is reported to have forced his way through the magistrate's entrance before firing at the Magistrate.
  • This then led to a shootout with the officers who were in court as they moved to safeguard the magistrate. 
  • Two police officers who responded to the incident were injured. However, the rogue cop did not survive.
CJ koome
A picture of Chief Justice Martha Koome at her office April 9.

The Aftermath

  • Following the Thursday Incident, Chief Justice Martha Koome ordered the closure of Makadara Law Courts until Monday, June 17.
  • She directed that pending court cases be done virtually.
  • On the other hand, she noted that the Judiciary would use the time to address the security lapse at the law courts
  • "The Judiciary Police Unit in consultation with the Office of the Inspector General will reinforce security in all Court Stations across the country and ensure that persons are not allowed to access court premises while armed with the exception of officers properly accredited to provide security at specified court stations," read the statement in part.

Weekly Quiz

Do you think you are a news guru? Every week, the newsletter team brings you a 10-question quiz testing your knowledge of the top news topics for the week.

Take our quiz and test how well you understood the week's most important stories.

Here are the top stories of the day:

Guess Who Answer


The answer is Mutahi Kahiga. Nyeri Governor Kahiga, who is a fierce defender of DP Gachagua, made the remarks at a church service on Monday this week.

This newsletter was written by Washington Mito and edited by Brian Muuo.

Derrick Kubasu contributed to the content.

Graphics prepared by Adongo Kyalo and Ronnie Mbugua.

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