Win for Ruto as Court okays collection of housing levy

President William Ruto scored a win after the Court of Appeal allowed the government to continue collecting the controversial housing levy, albeit until January 26 when the court will decide whether to lift the order or grant a further extension.

A Bench of three judges of the appellate court directed the status quo prevailing to be maintained until then, when they will rule on the application by Attorney General Justin Muturi seeking further collection of the levy, pending the determination of an appeal on the legality of the levy.

The High Court quashed the levy on November 28 for being discriminatory but suspended the judgment until January 10, to allow the government to pursue an appeal.

“In the meantime, the status quo obtaining as of today shall be maintained until the delivery of the ruling,” Lydia Achode, John Mativo and Mwaniki Gachoka said.

A day before the hearing of the application, President Ruto complained that his plans were being sabotaged through court orders. He vowed to disobey the orders and implement the projects.

Another application, seeking to lift an order blocking the implementation of the Social Insurance Act, 2023 was also slated for hearing at the Court of Appeal on the same day but it was pushed to another date, because of lack of time.

Mr Muturi had pleaded with the court to allow the collection of the levy arguing that it had created more than 120,000 jobs since it was started six months ago.

While quashing the levy, High Court judges David Majanja, Christine Meoli and Lawrence Mugambi stated that imposing it against persons in formal employment to the exclusion of other non-formal income earners, to support the national housing policy was without justification, unfair, discriminatory and irrational.

Kenya has about 3.2 million people in formal employment and about 15.9 in the informal sector and the court observed that it was illegal to subject a section of the population to the tax leaving out the rest.

“The introduction of the Housing Levy through amendment of the Employment Act by Section 84 of the Finance Act, 2023 lacks a comprehensive legal framework in violation of Articles 10, 201, 206 and 210 of the Constitution,” ruled the High Court judges.

Mr Muturi had pleaded with the judges to extend the order and allow the government to continue collecting the levy arguing that putting it to a hold, would disrupt ongoing projects and adversely affect government programmes for affordable housing.

“Infrastructure projects initiated pursuant to affordable housing, and in line with the government’s objective to facilitate affordable housing for the public, are presently underway. In the absence of a stay, the abrupt halt to these projects will lead to irreparable damage, significantly impacting the economy,” Mr Muturi said in submissions filed in court.

The affordable housing fund is gross-on-gross taxation on workers income where the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) uses the same gross to also calculate the Pay As You Earn. Every employee contributes 1.5 percent, matched by a similar percentage by the employer.

But as the government sought for an extension of the order pending the appeal, other parties including the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Katiba Institute as well as Busia senator Okiya Omtatah opposed the application.

According to Katiba Institute, the Finance Act, 2023 imposed regressive taxes that burden low-income earners excessively, thus threatening their right to life and livelihood.

The non-governmental organisation argued that the ripple effect of the taxes would not be reversed by a successful appeal.

“The public interest in this matter merits urgent consideration and resolution by this Honourable Court since it concerns the imposition of regressive tax measures that burden low-income earners excessively, thus threatening their right to life and livelihood under Articles 26 and 43,” submitted lawyer Dudley Ochiel.

Other than the housing levy, the lobby will also be asking the court to quash sections 30 to 38 of the Finance Act (amending sections 5, 8, 12, 17, 31, 34, 43, First Schedule and the Second Schedule of the VAT Act); section 47 of the Act, amending the First Schedule to the Excise Duty Act, 2015; and section 47(a)(v) of the Act, amending Part I of the First Schedule to the Excise Duty Act, 2015.

The lobby said the High Court erred in law in ignoring the submission that the amendment to section 5(2)(ab) of the Value Added Tax Act 2013, section 30(b) of the Finance Act 2023 (to double the VAT on liquefied petroleum gas including propane) is unconstitutional.

Mr Ochiel said the amendment was regressive as it threatens the right to a clean environment through the increased use of wood fuel and other non-renewable energy sources as alternatives.

“Equally, the High Court erred in ignoring the submission that the amendment to section 5(2)(aa) of the Value Added Tax Act, 2013 by section 30(a) of the Finance Act, 2023 (to double the VAT from 8 percent to 16 percent on the fuels, is unconstitutional for being regressive.

“It is in the public interest to suspend this tax because the resulting increase in the cost of fuel has a spillover effect on the cost of living and disproportionately shifts the tax burden to the poor and marginalised,” he said.

The organisation submitted that the doubling of VAT on petroleum fuels is regressive and burdens poor people more because they spend a larger share of their overall budgets (60 percent) on food compared to (the 54percent) for high-income people.

“Again, the respondents’ failure to propose any affirmative action measures to mitigate the increased cost of living for the most vulnerable 20 violates Articles 10, 21(3), and 201 of the Constitution,” the NGO said.

Further, the amendment of the Excise Duty Act, 2015 to impose an excise duty of 25 percent on imported cartons, boxes and cases of corrugated paper or paper board and imported folding cartons, boxes, among others is unconstitutional.

The lobby said the amendment threatens the right to a clean and healthy environment through increased use of plastic as an alternative, leading to plastic pollution.

“Further, the tax will increase the pressure on Kenyan forest cover and violate Article 69(1)(b) of the Constitution, requiring a tree cover of at least ten percent of the land area of Kenya,” argued the lawyer.

Mr Ochiel said Kenya’s forest cover is presently hovering around the minimum and the effect of implementing this excise duty on paper packaging is, therefore, irreversible and violates the precautionary principle.


AM Live

AM Live is NTV's morning current affairs show that sets the agenda for the day with insightful panels every weekday.


Business Redefined

Business Redefined is Kenya’s premier thought leadership platform for unpacking matters regarding economic and finance policy as well demystifying complex developments in the region’s capital markets.


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Full Episodes

A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula

Gumzo La Sato

Gumzo La Sato is a live social issues show that aims to create awareness about issues affecting the larger society. The discussions range from Parenting, Marital bliss and struggles, Oppression, violence, and all matters of the Heart.

Health Diary

Health Diary is a weekly show that highlights different types of diseases/conditions and seeks ways to prevent, treat/manage them. The show debunks this through real life stories and also feature specialists in different fields, to offer medical advice on the same.

Letter To My Younger Self

Letter To My Younger Self is a podcast where guests get to write a letter to their younger self, from which Maxine formulates questions to ask them during the hour-long show.

Mazao Talks

Mazao looks at agriculture and agribusiness

Nation Reports

Nation Reports is a weekly podcast offers an opportunity for listeners to interact with various reporters and journey with them as they unravel the biggest most emotive stories.

One Health Lens Podcast

Discussing health matters and human stories from Kenya and across Africa. We talk big picture from people to policy, ecosystems, and everything in between. Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/onehealthlens

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost peeks through the story of Louis Otieno, the times, and everything in between.



Speaking of GEN Z

Speaking of Gen Z brings you entertaining but meaningful conversations about a generation that is trying to navigate through adulthood. Join hosts Michelle, Jackie and Esther as they unravel all things Gen Z.

Sport On

Sport-On is a 30-minute sports magazine show on NTV and 3 hours on NATION FM. The show seeks to give the sports “fanatics” and “funatics” comprehensive and in-depth coverage of sports both locally and internationally.


The extent of technological growth is beyond mere acknowledgment; it has seamlessly integrated into our daily existence. A few years ago, the notion of paying electricity bills through mobile money or recharging with 'tokens' in Kenya seemed inconceivable. Online product sales were considered distant, and artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping various facets of our lives. Amidst these technological leaps, those with a solid understanding of tech can navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and build a sustainable livelihood. Tech over Show aims to be the platform facilitating discussions among thought leaders, innovators, tech companies, and the government, addressing challenges and opportunities in Kenya's thriving tech industry.


Thamani is a business show which is dedicated to emerging issues regarding micro, small and medium size businesses.

The Politalk podcast

This is The Politalk podcast. Here we look into the ins and outs of everything Kenyan politics. We pull no punches and have no reason to sugarcoat anything that matters to Kenyans.

The Trend

A two-hour-long live show that airs on Fridays. The show focuses on what is current in the entertainment industry, controversial and popular across all media platforms targeting those aged between 25 and 35 years.

The trend podcast

The trend podcast highlights and captures the best of banter from #TTTT segment that airs every Friday on NTV. It's the TTTT EXTRA

The Wicked Edition

The Wicked Edition with Dr. King’ori seeks to address serious issues through humour and relatable wit. It is a two-part half hour show filmed in front of a live audience


A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula A collection of our premium content. Diam curabitur vehicula


Twende is a travel show that highlights beautiful, unique, diverse locations, people, and cultures. The show offers fresh perspectives on familiar locations and memorable experiences in new ones.


This Saturday evening lifestyle show lets viewers share their stories and life experiences as openly & honestly for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

VIP Access

VIP ACCESS is Anyiko Owoko’s YouTube and podcast show on Music and Culture dedicated to promoting Africa’s most promising talent and creatives. This podcast grants you VIP access into timeless interviews while providing a platform for rising as well as established artists across the continent. Since launching in 2018, Anyiko has interviewed over 70 African music stars.


This weekly news show aims to have all sides of debate but not be constrained by it, listen to main voices in the contest but not allow them to hold the viewers hostage, entertain debate but allow push back with all due respect.

When death do us part

In this podcast, three widowers openly speak about the process of grief, how they found themselves exposed to the emotional turmoil of losing their wives, and how society still does not know how to deal with them.

Your World

Your World is a health, wellness and variety show. It provides a platform for audiences and experts to share their experiences on how to improve or manage health issues, across Kenya and the Africa region.