‘You can’t go to court without consulting MPs’ – Raila slams Wetang’ula

Sunday, February 4th, 2024 18:56 | By

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader and opposition leader Raila Odinga has taken a swipe at National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula over his decision to challenge the Court of Appeal ruling on the housing levy.

Speaking at Kamukunji grounds on Sunday, February 4, Raila noted that Wetang'ula didn't have the authority to challenge the housing levy as it was first passed in Parliament on his watch.

According to Raila, the Speaker should have consulted Members of Parliament (MPs) before going to court.

He went on to say that Wetang'ula's decision to challenge the ruling on the controversial housing levy disqualified him from being the Speaker.

"Bwana Wetang'ula mwenyewe ameenda mahakamani, ii sheria ilitoka kwa bunge, ikaenda kwa Ruto akaweka sahihi, mahakama ikasema ii sheria si halali. Bwana speaker katika ulimwengu mzima hana uwezo tena kuenda mahakamani. Anaenda kama nani? Bwana Wetang'ula hafai kuwa speaker wa bunge ya Kenya. Shenzi sana. Kama wewe ni speaker, ukishapititisha sheria, kazi yako imekwisha," Raila declared.

"He was there when the bill was passed as faulty as it is. He oversaw it," the Azimio leader added.

Wetangula, Housing Levy

On January 31, Wetang'ula took action by approaching the Supreme Court regarding the contentious Housing Levy.

The Speaker submitted a notice of appeal, indicating dissatisfaction with the Court of Appeal ruling.

In the notice, both the National Assembly and Wetang'ula expressed their intention to appeal the decision.

"The National Assembly and the speaker of the National Assembly being dissatisfied with the decision of the court of appeal intend to appeal to the Supreme Court against the whole ruling."

Housing Levy is unconstitutional

On January 26, the Court of Appeal declined to suspend the High Court decision that declared some sections of the Finance Act, 2023, including the Housing Levy, unconstitutional.

The judges insisted on an expedited hearing of the appeals to resolve the issues definitively.

Consequently, Kenyans are no longer required to contribute 1.5% of their salary towards the housing levy until the appeal is thoroughly addressed.

The judges emphasized that the High Court had found the levy lacked a legal foundation and targeted specific citizens.

They argued that public interest warranted awaiting the appeal's determination, as granting a stay at this stage might lead to irreversible decisions if the appellate court upholds the initial ruling.

The judges dismissed the state's applications for a stay, asserting that none of them satisfied the necessary conditions.

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