The High Court has dismissed Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah’s request to cross-examine National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula and his Senate counterpart, Amason Kingi, regarding the implementation of the Finance Act 2023.
The Senator had filed an application on Monday, seeking orders to compel the two speakers to personally attend and address inquiries pertaining to the enforcement of the recent legislation.
Omtatah is contesting the legality of the newly introduced tax regulations, asserting that the Finance Act 2023 did not undergo thorough examination within the Senate.
Justice David Majanja rejected Omtatah’s appeal, issuing a ruling against the issuance of the requested orders.
“We reject the application to cross-examine the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Speaker of the Senate, and we will provide detailed reasons in our judgment,” ruled the Judge.
Reacting to this, Omtatah implored the court to uphold impartiality in the proceedings, arguing that the two speakers had presented falsified documents.
“We want to put their feet to the fire,” said the senator.
Omtatah stressed the importance of being granted an opportunity to present his case and to undergo a just legal process.
Omtatah’s main concern revolves around the housing tax issue, arguing that housing is within the scope of devolved responsibilities. Consequently, he asserts that the bill should have undergone deliberation by Senators.
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) is pursuing a request to halt the enactment of the Finance Act 2023, claiming that it infringes upon the constitution.
President of LSK, Eric Theuri, has called upon the court to render the implementation of the Act as unconstitutional and void.
He has named the National Assembly, Kenya Revenue Authority, and the Attorney General as parties in the proceedings.
The hearings for these matters are scheduled to be conducted by a panel of three judges, including Justice David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi, on September 13 and 14, respectively.