Kalonzo promises to repeal Housing Levy if he becomes president

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 30 Jan, 2024 10:48 | 2 mins read
Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka
Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka. PHOTO/@skmusyoka/X

Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka has vowed to repeal the Housing Levy the first thing if he becomes the president of Kenya.

In a statement on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, Kalonzo termed the Housing Levy a slush fund. A slush fund entails monies set aside for unplanned expenses, usually illegal or corrupt.

"As President, my first Executive Order will be to repeal the Housing Levy, which is a Slush Fund," Kalonzo stated.

This comes days after 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.

Court of Appeal justices Lydia Achode, John Mativo and Mwaniki Gachoka declined a plea by Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning Njuguna Ndungu, Attorney General Justin Muturi and Kenya Revenue Authority to suspend the High Court Judgement declaring the levy illegal.

"It also held that the levy was targeting a section of Kenyans. In our view, public interest lies in awaiting the determination of the appeal. This is because if the stay sought is granted at this stage, should the appellate court affirm the impugned decision, then some far-reaching decisions that will have been undertaken pursuant to the impugned laws may not be reversible," the appellant judges stated.

FKE verdict on Housing Levy

Following the ruling, the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) issued an advisory to employers, directing them to stop deducting the Housing Levy.

"Your attention is drawn to a Ruling delivered today January 26th, 2024, in the Court of Appeal dismissing a stay application where the government sought to continue collecting the Housing Levy until the appeal it filed is heard and determined by the Court of Appeal. In dismissing the application, the Court of Appeal noted that the levy was introduced without a legal framework. Further, the Court of Appeal indicated that its decision was based on public interest, which in the case was in favour of halting the deduction pending the hearing and determination of the Appeal," FKE stated.

"In light of the court order, we advise our members, not to deduct the levy unless the Court of Appeal rules otherwise after the hearing of the substantive appeal or in the alternative, should the government challenge the said ruling in the Supreme Court, the said Court reverses the ruling delivered today (Friday)."

The Housing Levy and several other sections of the Finance Act were declared unconstitutional by a three-judge bench made of Justices David Majanja, Christine Meoli, and Lawrence Mugambi on November 28, 2023.

According to the three-judge bench, the Housing levy contravened the Constitution given that only employed Kenyans faced deductions.