Kenya: Fuel Shoots Up Despite Court Order Against Finance Act

Nairobi — The government has reviewed fuel prices upwards despite a court order that temporarily halted the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 in a case filed by activists and a Senator.

The revision factoring an 8 per cent VAT increase means that petrol will retail at Sh195.5 in Nairobi and most parts of the country while Diesel will sell at Sh179.8 per litre.

The announcement was made late Friday by the Energy and Petroleum Regulation Authority (EPRA), hours after the High Court issued a temporary injunction.

The petition was filed by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah and six other activists.

In conservatory orders issued by Justice Mugure Thande on Friday, the State was directed to file a response by Tuesday, July 4.

The orders effectively stop the government from levying any taxes under the new Act, including the 8 percent VAT increment on fuel set to take effect Saturday.

President William Ruto signed the Bill on Monday after the National Assembly adopted his tax proposals despite concerns from civil society and the Opposition Azimio coalition.

Azimio leader Raila Odinga has already announced protests against the new Act from July 7, accusing President William Ruto of ignoring the plight of Kenyans.

“The president does not listen to Kenyans. He does not care and that is why we must go to the streets because that is the only language he understands,” Raila told a rally in Kamukunji grounds on Tuesday.

In the application before the court, petitioners contested the passage of twenty-two sections of the Act “which were not in the Bill but were introduced on the floor of the National Assembly.”

They further challenged adoption of another 40 provisions without the input of the Senate arguing the said tax proposals required an endorsement by the Senate.

The petitioners also challenged public participation in the law-making process as being inadequate.

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