Another Lawsuit to Bar Govt From Excessive Taxes in the Works

President William Ruto attends a Transport meeting in New York on September 20, 2023.
President William Ruto attends a Transport meeting in New York on September 20, 2023.

Lawsuit attempting to nip President William Ruto government's appetite for taxes in the bud continue piling up in the courts of law.

In the latest case, lawyer and activist Fanya Mambo revealed that he is leading a lobby group seeking to file a petition to curb government's indirect taxation to only 20 per cent of an individual's salary.

He argued that the lobby group seeks to set the taxation limit in the Constitution.

"We are part of a lobby group that is moving to court next week and I am the main petitioner. We want a Constitutional petition that sets the limit to how much government can take from your salaries," he lamented.

Lawyer and activist Fanya Mambo.
Lawyer and activist Fanya Mambo.
Fanya Mambo

"We have gotten to a point in this country where the government feels entitled to our salaries. They wake up and decide that they can raid in your salary to the point that it is unlimited, the raid is uncontrolled."

The activist further noted that whereas both direct and indirect taxations have been increasing pushing total taxation on a monthly income to over 60 per cent.

The taxes included Pay as You Earn, medical cover as well as the recently introduced housing levy of 1.5 per cent.

Indirect taxes, which have also been on the rise included Value Added Tax (VAT) on all products in retail shelves. The Ruto regime increased the fuel VAT from 8 per cent to 16 per cent.

"As part of the talks at Bomas because we are sure a referendum will come out of it, we want Kenya to set a threshold and say that indirect taxation, the government cannot take more than 20 per cent of what you earn. That has to be made very clear," he added.

The suit comes weeks after the Supreme Court dismissed Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah's petition challenging the Court of Appeal’s ruling that lifted orders barring the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.

Omtatah wanted the implementation of the Finance Act 2023, which took effect beginning July 1, stopped for burning salaried Kenyans.

"The four sets of written submissions filed out of time by the applicants on 15th August 2023 on the Court’s online platform be and are hereby struck out," the judgment read in part. The ruling paved way for Ruto to raise an estimated Ksh211 billion from the new taxes.

Ealier in August, the Law Society of Kenya had also moved to court to challenge the implementation of the Finance Act and stop the government from collecting new taxes. 

The suit argued that the state introduced the taxes at a time when Kenyans were reeling under a blanket of a high cost of living.

File photo of Supreme Court of Kenya facade in Nairobi
The front view of the Supreme Court of Kenya building in Nairobi.
Supreme Court