In a recent legal showdown, Kenya’s government faced a significant setback as the Court of Appeal rejected its bid to overturn a temporary halt on the contentious housing levy. This levy, set at 1.5% of monthly salaries, had drawn widespread criticism for unfairly burdening formal sector employees.
Last November, the High Court sided with the public, putting a pause on the levy and sparking a heated debate about its fairness. The recent ruling by the Court of Appeal further amplifies the judiciary’s stance, ordering the suspension of levy collections until a final decision is reached.
Despite this legal blow, President Ruto remains resolute in his commitment to the housing project, invoking divine endorsement during a public rally. However, critics argue that the levy disproportionately affects Kenyan workers already grappling with a slew of taxes introduced under Ruto’s administration.
The levy, intended to fund affordable housing initiatives, stirred controversy from its inception, drawing opposition from various quarters. Critics questioned its legality and fairness, particularly its exclusion of non-formal sector workers.
While the government had pushed for the levy’s continuation, citing potential job losses and contractual breaches, the Court of Appeal’s decision underscores a victory for Kenyan workers, offering a reprieve from what many considered an unjust burden.
This legal saga reflects broader tensions between Kenya’s branches of government and highlights the judiciary’s role in safeguarding citizens’ rights and interests. As the debate continues, the fate of the housing levy remains uncertain, leaving many Kenyans cautiously optimistic about the judiciary’s commitment to justice and fairness.