Sand transporters challenge new taxes in court

Advocate Mbugua Mburu speaks during the mention of a petition filed by Kenya Truck Association and Machakos Chamber of commerce against Machakos County government seeking orders for the suspension of rates that are being levied on sand harvesting and quarries at Machakos High court on June 18, 2018. [Photo: John Muia, Standard]

Sand transporters have filed a suit in the High Court accusing the Machakos county government of arbitrarily increasing taxes.

Through the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Machakos Chapter) and Truckers Association of Kenya, the traders are seeking orders to suspend a county decision to hike taxes on their businesses.

They have listed the county executive and the county assembly as first and second respondents respectively.

Through lawyer Mburu Mbugua (pictured), the traders allege the recent passing of the Machakos County Finance Bill (2018), which triggered a hike in existing trade levies, was passed without adequate public participation.

“In addition to the application we have so far filed before court, we also ask the court to issue orders restraining the first and second respondents from implementing the new rates until the matter is heard and determined.”

But Caroline Kamende, representing the county assembly, opposed the application.

“The orders the petitioners are seeking should not be considered as the Act is already in force,” she said.

Justice George Odunga allowed the petitioners to file supplementary affidavits and also agreed with the respondents’ application for leave to file replying affidavits in five days.

The case will be heard on July 2.