The legal battle over the Finance Act 2023 took a significant step forward as Chief Justice Martha Koome appointed a three-judge bench to handle the petition. The bench, comprised of Justices David Majanja, Lawrence Mogambi, and Christine Meori, will now proceed to determine the date for the petition’s mention.
Justice David Majanja will preside over the case, which originated from a petition filed by Busia Senator and activist, Okiya Omtatah, alongside six other concerned parties. Initially, the case was handled by Justice Mugure Thande, who had issued the first injunction on the finance law on June 30.
During the issuance of the conservatory orders, Justice Mugure had set July 5 as the date to provide further directions regarding the petition. As a result of the orders, the implementation of the Finance Act was temporarily suspended until the case’s resolution.
In a significant development, on July 10, Justice Mugure dismissed the government’s plea to lift the injunction. Her ruling was based on the understanding that lifting the orders could render the entire case an academic exercise, which would be detrimental to the serious constitutional issues raised by the petitioners. The judge acknowledged that the petitioners had presented a prima facie case, indicating that there was merit in granting the conservatory orders.
Justice Mugure, recognizing the complexity and gravity of the constitutional issues at hand, referred the matter to the Chief Justice for further action. Responding to the referral, Chief Justice Martha Koome took decisive action by appointing Justices David Majanja, Lawrence Mogambi, and Christine Meori to form the three-judge bench that will thoroughly deliberate on the petition.
This development has garnered attention and anticipation from various quarters as the Finance Act 2023 plays a crucial role in the country’s fiscal policies and economic landscape. The three-judge bench is expected to provide a comprehensive and fair judgment, taking into account the constitutionality of the law and its implications for the nation.
As the case moves forward, all eyes will be on the judiciary to ensure a transparent and timely process. The outcome of this legal battle could have far-reaching consequences, influencing the fiscal direction of the country and reaffirming the importance of upholding the rule of law in Kenya. Citizens, businesses, and policymakers eagerly await the upcoming proceedings, seeking clarity on the future of the Finance Act 2023.