The Court of Appeal has lifted orders barring the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
In a ruling delivered on Friday, July 28, 2023, Justices Mohamed Warsame, Kathurima M’Inoti and Hellen Omondi unanimously agree that the High Court erred by freezing the implementation of the new law. The Court also directed the applicants to file the appeals within the next 14 days.
In the ruling, the judges considered the complexities of the act, which contains numerous revenue collection measures and had been temporarily halted by conservatory orders issued by the High Court.
Upon reviewing the Finance Act 2023, the Court of Appeal noted that 102 provisions were included in it, with only 21 having different commencement dates. Most of the revenue measures were initially scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2023, but the High Court’s conservatory orders put those provisions on hold until further review.
During the appeals process, members of parliament, including senators and members of the National Assembly, presented divergent views on the matter, further complicating the decision-making process.
In May 2023, the National Treasury put forward several revisions to the Finance Bill 2023, which encompassed proposals to impose taxes on content creators, influencers, and cryptocurrency traders.
The proposed amendments faced significant opposition from the majority of Kenyan citizens. After making some adjustments, the Bill was formally approved in June 2023. Nevertheless, concerns over its legality emerged, leading Busia County Senator Okiya Omtatah to file a lawsuit seeking its suspension.