24 June 2019

Kenya: Politicians Challenge CS Rotich Over Boda Boda Insurance

The High Court has given National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the Attorney-General 10 days to file evidence in a petition by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and other politicians challenging the insurance levy on boda boda and tuk tuk riders.

Certifying the case filed by as urgent, Justice Weldon Korir, said there are "weighty constitutional issues raised in the case which call for expeditious determination."

The case was filed through lawyer Francis Kalwa.

Mr Kalwa told Justice Korir that Mr Rotich and the AG, who have been named as defendants, have not responded to the suit by the city governor and other Politicians despite being served with the pleadings.

WEIGHTY ISSUES

However, a State counsel sought for more time to file a response, saying the issues raised in the suit are weighty and need proper answers.

"The defendants are hereby given ten days to respond to the weighty constitutional issues. The case will be heard July 25," Justice Korir ruled on Monday.

Mr Sonko, teaming up with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Eala MP Simon Mbugua, former MPs Kalembe Ndile (Kibwezi), Reuben Ndolo (Makadara) and politician Stanley Livondo and Kevin Mubadi, have challenged the requirement boda bodas and tuk tuks to pay insurance premiums to cater for both their passengers and pedestrians in case of an accident.

RESTRAIN CS

The petitioners want the court to restrain the Treasury CS from implementing the proposal in his 2019-2020 financial budget, arguing that the implementation of the proposal will lead to massive unemployment and huge loses.

They further argue that the proposals were not shared with members of the public for comment before they were introduced.

CS Rotich, while presenting the budget proposals, indicated that all boda bodas and tuk tuks riders will be required to obtain third party insurance in order to cover their passengers and pedestrians.

Mr Rotich indicated that the proposal would be effected by amending the provisions of the Insurance Act.

CONSULT AG

But the petitioners say that the CS ought to have consulted with the Attorney-General before making that proposal in order to receive, correct, advice and ensure the proposed amendments are not in conflict with the Constitution.

In his affidavit, Mr Sonko claims that the boda bodas and tuk tuk operators will now be required to pay excessive and obstructive fees in the form of third party insurance without being given any opportunity to discuss the proposal.

According to the governor, the amendments and regulations which will introduce third party insurance to boda bodas and tuk-tuks were not shared with members of the public for comment before being introduced.

"The proposal that boda boda and tuk tuk operators obtain insurance cover for passengers and pedestrians which was made during the reading of the budget deals with issues of public finance. It follows that there ought to have been sufficient public participation on every issue it intended to introduce," states Mr Sonko in his affidavit.

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