Chief Justice Koome Appoints Three-Judge Bench to Hear Challenge to Affordable Housing Levy

Chief Justice Martha Koome has appointed a three-judge bench from the High Court to hear and determine a case challenging the affordable housing levy. The bench comprises Lady Justice Olga Sewe, who will preside, alongside Justice Chigiti John and Lady Justice Mongare Josephine.

In the case, five petitioners led by Dr. Magare Gikenyi had moved to court seeking conservatory orders to halt the implementation of the Affordable Housing Act, which was signed into law by President William Ruto in March of this year.

The other petitioners were; Pauline Kinyanjui, Philemon Nyakundi, Shallum Nyakundi and Jamlick Orina, who identified themselves as Nakuru residents and opposed the law on grounds that it attempts to introduce “communist ideologies.”

“The Affordable Housing Act 2024, essentially tries to introduce communist ideologies yet, there is nowhere in the Constitution which allows the government to introduce communist ideologies. Kenya is not a communist state and the constitution does not envisage it,” the petitioners submitted.

The High Court, in a ruling delivered on March 21, 2024, declined to stop the implementation of the Affordable Housing Act. Justice Chacha Mwita directed that the matter of the pleadings be served to all parties who would then be required to submit their arguments by Thursday.

The court further noted that the matter raises fundamental questions and requires an urgent hearing.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome, her Treasury counterpart Njuguna Ndung’u, Attorney-General Justin Muturi, the National Assembly and the Senate are listed as respondents in the suit.

The National Lands Commission (NLC) and 16 others are interested parties in the case.

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