In Summary
  • SportPesa and Pambazuka National Lottery had sought to stop the new law from taking effect, saying they were not adequately consulted and that the Head of State usurped Parliament’s mandate.
  • SportPesa and Pambazuka, who had filed the case had, in particular, participated in the negotiations leading to the new tax regime.

The need for public participation and whether President Uhuru Kenyatta abused power in the process leading to the enactment of a law introducing a 35 per cent tax on all gambling revenues, are among the key issues that were argued in court by firms challenging the new legislation.

SportPesa and Pambazuka National Lottery had sought to stop the new law from taking effect, saying they were not adequately consulted and that the Head of State usurped Parliament’s mandate.

High Court Judge John Mativo in his judgment last month, however, declined to grant the orders sought saying there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that there was adequate public participation prior to the enactment of the contested law.

The affected stakeholders had been engaged before the new law on higher tax was introduced. SportPesa and Pambazuka, who had filed the case had, in particular, participated in the negotiations leading to the new tax regime.

PAMBAZUKA

“SportPesa and Pambazuka also admit that there were various discussions and views from various stakeholders some of whom opposed the introduction of the taxes,” Justice Mativo said.

The judge, however, noted that public participation does not mean that views collected must prevail.

He also found no fault in the decision by President Kenyatta to return the Bill back to Parliament for further consideration on the tax.

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