Doctor Challenges New Affordable Housing Law in Court

March 21, 2024

No sooner had President Wiliam Ruto assented to contentious the Affordable Housing Bill than a petitioner moved to court to challenge it.

Ruto signed the Affordable Housing Bill into law on Tuesday, March 19, paving the way for the implementation of the affordable housing programme.

But in a petition filed on Tuesday, Magare Gikenyi, a Nakuru-based doctor, argued that there is no justification as provided by Affordable Housing Act, 2023 to limit the enjoyment of rights to individuals.

The petitioner argues that the Act has failed to acknowledge that some Kenyans have already organized their housing arrangements, including the location of the building, its style, design, and payment method, among other factors. He added that there is no rational justification to compel all Kenyans to pay the levy for the benefit of others.

Communist Ideologies

He further argued that the Affordable Housing Act attempts to introduce “communist ideologies,” which are not permitted by the constitution.

“Kenya is not a communist state and the constitution does not envisage it,” he said.

Gikenyi also accuses the respondents, including the Cabinet Secretaries for Lands and Treasury, the Attorney General, the National Assembly, and the Senate, of blatant dismissal of the results of the public participation process. He accused them of imposing a levy that the majority of Kenyans oppose.

The doctor informed the court that the actions of the respondents would erode public confidence and lead to the outright abuse of political power, to the detriment of many Kenyans. He emphasized the significance of upholding constitutionalism, the rule of law, law and order, good governance, non-discrimination, and the protection of the Constitution.

Gikenyi requested orders to prevent the respondents from evicting Kenyans from public land under the guise of implementing the Affordable Housing Act, pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

He urged that the matter be brought before a judge and orders issued to preserve and safeguard public interests.

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