Omtatah Seeks Court Order to Halt Public Participation on Finance Bill 2024

May 23, 2024

Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah has returned to court, seeking to halt public participation on the Finance Bill 2024, claiming it was tabled prematurely.

In documents filed at the Milimani Law Courts, Omtatah and Eliud Karanja Matindi argue that Parliament must first enact the Appropriation Act, 2024, before introducing the Finance Bill, 2024, in the National Assembly.

They emphasize that the Finance and Appropriation Acts are interdependent, with the Finance Act providing resources and the Appropriation Act detailing expenditure.

The petitioners cite Article 220 of the constitution, which requires budget estimates of revenue and expenditure to differentiate between recurrent and development expenditures.

The duo claims the Finance Bill 2024 lacks an approved fiscal framework for FY 2024/2025, which should come into effect only after enacting the Appropriation Act, 2024, with public participation.

The petitioners allege that the premature tabling of the Finance Bill violates Section 39(4)(a) of the Public Finance Management Act, which mandates that revenue raised aligns with the approved fiscal framework.

Also Read – Omtatah Urges Kenyans to Engage in Public Participation on Finance Bill 2024

Omtatah also seeks a court order to suspend the National Assembly’s consideration of the Finance Bill 2024, published on May 9, 2024, in the Kenya Gazette.

He further requests that Chief Justice Martha Koome form a bench to address the matter, citing significant legal questions.

Omtatah and Matindi argue that the National Assembly’s actions constitute a fraudulent scheme to collect unbudgeted revenue for unapproved expenditures.

The Finance Bill 2024, published on May 9 and tabled before the National Assembly on May 13, proposes various amendments to tax and levy acts. The public has been invited to submit comments on the bill by May 28 before its potential approval and enactment in June.

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