Kenya court allows budget to be read on Wednesday

Kenya’s High Court on Tuesday allowed the finance minister to read the budget on Wednesday as planned, throwing out an application filed by a political activist for the reading to be postponed.

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

The budget has been slated for June 8, the same day as the other four members of the East African Community bloc will unveil their budgets.

« I hereby dismiss the application filed by political activist Ndung’u Wainaina as premature, » Judge Jeanne Gacheche said in her ruling.

Legal analysis says that had the court issued the orders blocking the budget it could have affected government operations.

The petitioner said he will appeal against the ruling.

Kenya’s parliamentary speaker is also expected to rule later on Tuesday afternoon on whether Kenyatta can read the budget.

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.


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