Kenya: President Kenyatta Slams Issuance of Court Injunctions Against Govt Taxation Measures

23 January 2020

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday slammed the issuance of court injunctions on government taxation measures which he said affects revenue collection.

President Kenyatta was responding to Chief Justice David Maraga's appeal for more budgetary allocation during the state of the judiciary address at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

"Ask yourselves serious questions when you give injunctions because I appreciate what CJ is saying you need more money but CJ your courts are the same ones when we propose certain tax measures, you are the first ones to issue injunctions, then later you ask for money," he remarked.

Where will it come from?" Kenyatta posed.

Kenyatta called on the courts to ensure they interrogate various petitions which he said are suspiciously filed by one specific individual.

"I can see there are some professionals outside there who always come to the court to stop some of the projects that we are undertaking, and you never ask if they are acting that way for the public interest. 99 percent of these cases are filed by the same person. I think there is something there that needs to be interrogated," said Kenyatta.

Despite not making any commitments, the president expressed the government's commitment to support the judiciary within its means.

"I am here to assure you of my full support in what is possible but want us to work as a team for the benefit of the public interest. We will share what is available amongst ourselves to ensure justice and development is not compromised."

Kenyatta further urged the Judiciary to explore different ways it can manage its finances without expecting more funding from the government.

He said every arm of the government should operate within the allocated budgets without compromising its mandate.

Chief Justice David Maraga had earlier vented his frustrations to President Kenyatta while delivering the State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (2018-2019), decrying budget cuts.

The CJ pleaded for increased budgetary allocations, to avoid an imminent halt of key services as well as the ongoing expansion of court projects.

"Your Excellency, I make calls and they were not responded to," he said during the event also attended by Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka.

"We are stack, we have not been told why (this happened). We live in this country; we were not given a chance to say what areas not to touch because they are crucial."

The budget cuts, he said, "have brought some of the Judiciary functions to a halt."

Maraga said the situation has been worsened by the recent budget cuts, effects of which will spill over to an already alarming state of backlog of cases.

"Our major problem is finances," he said.

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