The newly reintroduced charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts were on Thursday, January 12, suspended by High Court.
Justice Mugure Thande, in his ruling, ordered telecommunications companies and the Central Bank of Kenya to suspend the charges that took effect on January 1, 2023.
The judge made the decision pending the hearing of a case filed by Activist Moses Wafula who claimed President William Ruto's Government errored in the re-introduction process.
"The applicant contends that his rights and the rights of other members of the public have been violated, infringed and continue to be threatened by the 1st respondent herein and the Government of Kenya in view of the directive issued by the Intended 3rd Respondent on December 6, 2022," court documents read in part.
In his petition, Wafula argued that mobile money service providers will disadvantage Kenyans already suffering from the high cost of living.
Justice Mugure, therefore, set the mention date for the case on January 23
The judge also asked the respondents to file responses by January 20, in order to give petitioners enough time to go through the documents.
According to Wafula, the High Court was best placed to save Kenyans from aggressive charges at a time the country's economy was facing an uncertain future.
The charges were first suspended by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 to cushion Kenyans from the adverse effects of Covid-19.
While announcing the reinstatement of the charges on December 6, 2022, CBK noted that the new charges would be lower than the previous ones.
“The revised maximum charges for transfers from bank accounts to mobile money wallets will be reduced by on average up to 61 per cent, and mobile money wallet to bank account by on average up to 47 per cent,” CBK explained at the time.
In November 2022, Members of the National Assembly approved the reintroduction of five new taxes effectively widening the country's tax bracket.
MPs increased the Personal Income Tax Rate collected from individuals and imposed on different sources of income like labor, pensions, interest and dividends.
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