Attempt to block budget reading flops as court declines to hear applicants

An attempt to block the presentation of the 2019/20 financial year budget at the National Assembly flopped on Thursday after the High Court declined to entertain four applicants.

Justice James Makau was hesitant to hear a case by four lobby groups seeking to stop the presentation slated for Thursday afternoon.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) alongside Transparency International (TI), Africa Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA) were opposed to the reading of the budget until the Revenue Bill is passed.

KHRC, TI, Africog and Tisa have sued the AG and CS Rotich while the Council of Governors is listed as an interested party in the suit.

The judge retreated to the chambers from where he said he would give directions on the matter later in the day after he declined to give the lobby groups an opportunity to argue the case.

Justice Makau sought to know from the applicants whether National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich who is among the respondents named in the matter was aware of the case.

Advocates representing the applicants explained to the court they had informed the respondents on Wednesday after an attempt to obtain orders from Justice George Odunga sitting in Machakos flopped.

Justice Odunga who declined to give any directions on the same directed parties to file the matter in Nairobi.

The NGOs argue that since the bill dictates sharing of revenue raised nationally between the two levels of government and is yet to be passed by the two Houses of Parliament, counties will not be able to deliver on their functions.


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