President William Ruto has reaffirmed his commitment to advancing the administration’s affordable housing programs, despite the setback of the Court of Appeal’s decision to not suspend a High Court order declaring the housing levy unconstitutional.
While speaking in Meru County, Ruto underscored the significant public support he has garnered for the housing initiatives, emphasizing their potential to generate thousands of jobs for the youth in Kenya.
“Housing mnasema iendelee ama isiendelee? Wale wanasema housing iendelee nione kwa mikono. Si nyinyi ndio kusema Kenya hii. Kuna public participation kuliko hii yenu? Amri yenu ndio amri ya Mungu. Kwa hivyo mimi niko na amri ya kutosha na nitasongesha (housing) mbele,” said Ruto.
President Ruto remains undeterred by the recent court ruling and has vowed to appeal the decision that declared the housing levy unconstitutional. Despite facing legal challenges, he continues to champion the cause, highlighting its importance in addressing housing issues and boosting employment opportunities.
The Court of Appeal’s refusal to suspend the High Court order was based on considerations of public interest in the matter.
“The trial Court held that the Housing Levy was introduced without a legal framework. 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,” reads the court ruling in part.
“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 appellate judges echoed the High Court’s assertion that the housing levy lacked a legal framework when introduced, further emphasizing the need for adherence to constitutional principles.
Following a November ruling by a three-judge bench comprising Justice David Majanja, Lawrence Mugambi, and Christine Meoli, it was determined that the state had violated Article 10, 2 (a) of the constitution by imposing the housing levy. The court’s decision reflects the broader sentiment among a section of Kenyans, with some expressing relief at the ruling, while others continue to stand with the Housing levy agenda. The legal developments surrounding the housing levy continue to be a subject of public discourse and judicial scrutiny.