Court clears Kenya budget reading for Wednesday


Kenya’s high court dismissed an application to prevent a parliamentary reading of the national budget, giving the government the green light to present its programme for the coming financial year.

The court threw out the suit from a political activist seeking a postponement of the reading slated for Wednesday, the same day as the other four members of the East African Community bloc will unveil their budgets.

The case was filed after Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta failed to make public his estimates of government revenue and expenditure for the fiscal year starting in July two months ahead of the budget reading, as per a new constitution adopted last August, Reuters reports.

High court judge Jeanne Gacheche said in her ruling the application was “premature”.

Parliamentary speaker Kenneth Marende, who had the power to disallow the reading, also said it could go ahead.

The petitioner said he would appeal — a case that would be heard by the country’s appeals court.

Legal analysts says that had the court blocked the budget reading it could have affected government operations.

Kenya will raise its public spending for the 2011/12 fiscal year to 1.155 trillion shillings, the government said last week.

Kenyatta said he would increase spending on infrastructure by a third to 221 billion shillings compared with last year. Development expenditure would amount to 398.6 billion shillings.