Jimi Wanjigi: Why I support Omtatah's petition against the Finance Act

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi says he supports Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah's move to challenge the Finance Act, 2023 in court.

According to Wanjigi, Omtatah's case is supported constitutionally and if the law is to be observed, then the Act might be quashed.

Wanjigi, speaking during an interview with Spice FM on Tuesday, July 4, concurred with the lawmaker saying that the government has been neglecting the inclusion of the revenue estimate in the budget which is a requirement by law.

"The current bill only contains the expenditure estimate and does not have the revenue estimate. The expenditure estimate is simply what we are going to spend money on in terms of development and recurrent whereas revenue estimate is the money we are looking for," said Wanjigi.

"Constitutionally, a budget should have both the expenditure estimate and the revenue estimate, which should both go through the Parliament for approval. The priority should be the revenue estimate which will now develop tax measures to raise the money."

According to Wanjigi, the decision to deliberately ignore the revenue estimate is because the government cannot account for some of the loans borrowed.

"Over the last ten years, revenue estimate has never been tabled to parliament and that is what Omtatah is trying to challenge. What we normally see is the Treasury releasing statements of revenue and exchequer issues which was never passed by Parliament," he said.

"This is because there is something they cannot explain in parliament which is the domestic borrowing. Constitutionally, any amount borrowed should go to development however, in all the years that we have taken domestic borrowing, you do not find it funding development projects."

In his petition, Omtatah argued that the Finance Act is unconstitutional and the legislative body has neglected the required procedure of tabling a Budget in Parliament.

On Friday, June 30, Justice Mugure Thande of the High Court suspended the implementation of the Finance Act, 2023, and scheduled the mentioning of the case to July 5.

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