Two Kenyan citizens have challenged the recent increase in fuel prices in court arguing that the common mwananchi was not considered.
Wilson Yata and Isaiah Odando named the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), National Assembly, and the Petroleum Cabinet Secretary as respondents.
Yata and Odando are seeking an order to quash the decision by the KRA Commissioner-General to adjust excise duty rates for petroleum products effective October 1, 2021 subject to approval by the Cabinet Secretary and the National Treasury.
The petitioners claim that the respondents have ignored proper public participation of Kenyans before adjusting the rates.
“The decision by the Commissioner-General of the Kenya Revenue Authority to adjust excise duty rates for petroleum products though discretionary has been described as a burden by the already overtaxed Kenyans and was devoid of proper public participation at a time when Kenyans are reeling from the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic thereby compromising the people’s entitlement to social justice under Article 10 of the constitution,” part of the petition read.
Odando and Yata also argue that Kenyans have been subjected to heavy fuel tax notwithstanding that they are already overburdened.
“The respondents have failed to be transparent and accountable to Kenyans on information as to why Kenyan fuel price retails higher as compared to its landlocked neighbors and has tax higher than the landed price of fuel,” they argue in court papers.
Through lawyer Kenneth Omondi, the petitioners said the decision to increase fuel prices have driven up the cost of living.
“It is in the public interest that the respondents are compelled to inculcate constitutional principles in the management of public finance and that they always protect the economic interest of the public as envisaged under Articles 46(3) of the Constitution and the Energy Act 2019,” the petition read.