Relief as High Court suspends 16% petroleum levy

Petrol trucks a Depot in Shimanzi. A truck driver who had been isolated at the Mwatate subcounty hospital has since tested negative for COVID-19 PHOTO/Dennis Mwangi

The High Court in Bungoma has issued temporary orders to bring to a halt the 16 percent VAT on Fuel.

The orders were issued by Justice Stephen Riech on Thursday afternoon, after a case was filed by a group of youth against the Finance Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich for putting into operation the new levy.

The three, Titus Alila, Jackline Otieno and Francis Ogada, represented by advocate Ken Amondi argued that Rotich flouted core constitutional principles and values in arriving at the decision to implement the levy despite parliament passing a bill to postpone the implementation to 2020.

The court halted the implementation pending the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Temporary conservatory orders be and are hereby granted quashing the decision by the KENYA REVENUE AUTHORITY and the ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION dated 1/9/2018 to implement the FINANCE (vat) ACT 2013 levying 16% VAT on petroleum products from 1/9/2018, to enable the president to either assent to or reject the amended Finance Bill passed by the National Assembly,” read the orders by Judge Riech.

This comes after sporadic spate of public protests across the country against the new Levy.

In Mombasa, public service vehicles and tuk-tuk operators hiked the transport charges calling on the president to stop the implementation of the new Levy.

The 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products took effect on 1st September 2018 after the assertion by the treasury CS Henry Rotich.

Prices for petrol and diesel rose by 10 per cent while Kerosene increased by 12 per cent.

The case will be mentioned on the twelfth of this month.