LSK concerned over Ruto threat on housing levy


Law Society of Kenya (LSK) members led by CEO Florence Muturi, President Eric Theuri and Vice President Faith Odhiambo addressing the media at their Head office in Nairobi on December 18, 2023. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Law Society of Kenya has criticised President William Ruto over his threat to ruthlessly deal with those opposing the implementation of the housing levy through constitutional means.

The society reminded Dr Ruto to uphold the rule of law and remain vigilant against measures imposing undue financial burdens on the populace.

“As a primary defender of public interest, we are concerned about remarks made by the Head of State on December 16, threatening to use the sword against those opposing the housing levy in court, terming them as enemies of Kenya.

"LSK finds such characterisations misleading and deeply troubling,” said President Eric Theuri.

LSK and Busia Senator Okiya Omtattah are among the petitioners who have filed cases in court challenging the housing levy, seeking its declaration as unconstitutional due to discrimination and creating an unequal playing field.

President Ruto's threat to use the sword against those opposing the levy through courts has angered lawyers. “Alongside the sword, the President was given the constitution. The sword is intended to protect and uphold the Constitution; it is not an instrument of oppression.

"As advocates, we similarly took an oath to protect the constitution and rule of law. We will do so boldly and won’t be threatened or intimidated from challenging any government decision that offends the Constitution. The constitution of Kenya is our sword,” said Theuri.

The government has filed an appeal scheduled for a hearing in the Court of Appeal.

Theuri said the court had pronounced itself on the unconstitutionality of the housing law and urged Ruto to respect the decision.

“The utterances by the President amount to a threat to the court, which is scheduled to hear the appeal," said the LSK boss.