The High Court of Kenya has suspended the new bank-to-MPesa transaction charges. This comes after a petition was filed by the consumer lobby group, Fin Access, which argued that the charges would disproportionately affect low-income customers. The court declared that the new fees were unconstitutional and violated the rights of Kenyan citizens to access banking services.
In a statement, the court stated that the fees were "discriminatory and arbitrary" and had been imposed without proper consultation with stakeholders. The new charges would have seen customers paying up to 10% of the transaction amount for bank-to-MPesa transfers. This would have resulted in significant financial losses for low-income customers, who rely heavily on bank-to-MPesa transfers for their daily financial needs. The court also noted that the charges had been set without any public consultation and without taking into account the interests of the customers.
Furthermore, the court stated that the new charges were not in line with the provisions of the Constitution which guarantee the right to access banking services. The High Court of Kenya has now suspended the new charges, pending further review. It is expected that the court will now hear arguments from both sides and make a final ruling on the matter.
The decision to suspend the new charges has been welcomed by consumer advocates, who argued that the fees were unfair and would disproportionately affect low-income customers. It remains to be seen what the final ruling on the matter will be, but this is a positive step towards ensuring that the rights of Kenyan citizens to access banking services are protected.
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