A section of clerics from Thika in Kiambu County now wants the Judiciary to rescind its decision of suspending the implementation of the Finance Act 2023 saying the move is delaying the collection of taxes so much needed to resuscitate the struggling economy.
The clerics argued that the right procedures were followed to make the Finance Bill 2023 law and as such, the Judiciary should not be used by the opposition to stall social-economic development in the country.
On Friday last week, the High Court issued orders suspending the implementation of the new Finance Act 2023 pending the hearing of a lawsuit filed by Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.
Speaking at Faith Christian Fellowship Church in Thika, the priests noted that for a country to thrive, citizens must patriotically pay taxes.
They insisted that the government’s operations including facilitation of recurrent expenditures, and payment of contractors undertaking infrastructural developments require money that can only be sourced from citizens through taxes and as such, Kenyans should agree to endure the temporal strain to help heal the economy.
Led by Pastor Jane Waithera Ngunyu and Emma Kibunja, the clerics urged the opposition team to stop the sustained attacks against the Kenya Kwanza government saying that President William Ruto should be given time to deliver the promises he made to Kenyans.
They maintained that Ruto has only been in office for less than a year and as such, fighting him before he even fully constituted his government is derailing developments in the country.
“The opposition should give President Ruto time to prove his case. He has over and over again said he is intentional about turning around the country’s economic misfortunes and less than a year is not enough for him to deliver. These lawsuits for every development and policy will severely affect service delivery and Kenyans should agree that we pay taxes for a better tomorrow,” Pastor Waithera said.
The pastors accused the opposition of advancing their interests in government by inciting Kenyans not to pay taxes.
On his part, pastors David Njuguna Njure and David Kimani described the suspension of tax payment as a crisis in waiting as most government operations including payment of salaries to government employees could stall.
“Telling Kenyans not to pay taxes is a disaster in waiting as this will mean that even public servants will have no salary at the end of the month. The judiciary is composed of people like me and you who also know about the challenges facing this country. Only taxes will redeem us,” said Njuguna.
They urged the Judiciary to become alive to public interest saying that the country is racing against time as far as the revival of the economy is concerned and Kenyan courts should not be used to engage a reverse gear on the issue of redefining the economic progress of the country.