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Sonko wants part in case challenging new Nairobi County rates

21 March 2014, 22:00 William Korir

Nairobi - The Nairobi City County Government has been accused of enacting a Finance Act that imposes expensive living style to City residents.


In a case certified urgent yesterday by Justice Weldon Korir, Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko alleges that the Finance Act approved on September 4, 2013 characterized by increased taxes, levies and fees was not tabled in parliament for scrutiny as required and therefore it was made and passed unlawfully.


He alleges that the Nairobi City County Finance Act which immediately took effect has imposed extreme hardship to the City residents yet its legislation was flouted.


Through lawyer Jusa Ambani, Mr Mbuvi wants to be allowed to challenge quashing provisions of the Finance Act.


Mr Mbuvi, who also wants the Act suspended pending the hearing and determination of the case, claims that the outcome of the case would affect the manner in which laws and regulations in counties and ministries are enacted.


“Issues raised here are of great public interest which should be treated with utmost urgency and be heard within the shortest time possible given that the case’s completion has far reaching effect on all or Acts which come from the counties and ministerial regulations, it’s only fair that the Nairobi City County Government do suspend the implementation of the provisions of the Act,” said Mr Ambani.


He argues that had the Act been scrutinized by parliament, most of the levies imposed would have been reviewed or otherwise passed by parliament with necessary provisions of due fairness to the residents of one of the most expensive cities to live in as per a recent survey.


Mr Mbuvi alleges that recent protests were as a result of the provisions of the alleged defective Finance Act that lacked parliament’s approval.


He claims to have written to speakers of both the National and Nairobi County Assemblies and has since established that the procedure for enactment of the Act was not followed.


He also claims that no impact statement about the Act was made as required by law.


“The making and passing of the Act was unprocedural and therefore challenging this illegality must be allowed,” Mr Mbuvi said.


Some of the levies increased include parking, transport of quarry materials within and outside Nairobi, as well as solid waste management services.


According to Section 109(4) of the constitution, Parliament has powers over the making of laws concerning County governments.


Section 11(1) allows a Cabinet Secretary responsible for a regulation making authority to ensure that a copy of the statutory instruments is tabled before parliament within seven days of its publication.


Section 11(4) says that failure to do so at the fourth day, the statutory instrument ceases to have effect immediately.


Judge Korir directed that the Nairobi City County Government be served with the suit papers before close of business yesterday in readiness for a hearing on March 24 before High Court judge George Odunga.

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