City garbage firms’ bid to halt double taxation fails

3 months ago 72

Tuesday August 16 2022


Youths load waste into a county garbage truck. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

A group of garbage collectors in Nairobi have failed in its bid to abolish double taxatIon by the City Hall and the National Environment Management Authority (Nema).

Through the Waste and Environment Management Association of Kenya, the businesses wanted the court to issue bar the county government from charging them Sh20,000 per truck to collect and dispose of waste.

They also wanted a declaration that the charges levied by Nema for a licence to transport waste was unconstitutional, null and void.

They stated that other than the business permit and licence fees by the City Hall, Nema charges similar levies.

According to the businesses, Nema should not charge them any fees since the mandate for garbage collection and disposal is a devolved function, according to the Constitution.

They said the licence fees for transportation of solid waste by Nema was, therefore, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.

In the suit, the association also complained of discrimination stating that City Hall charges its members Sh20,000 per truck to collect and dispose of garbage while companies in the same business pay the same amount for all the fleet trucks they own.

In addition, the lobby sought to quash the amended Nairobi City County Solid Waste Management Act on grounds that there was no public participation.

But Justice Oguttu Mboya dismissed the case.

The judge rejected claims that the collection of annual licence fees by Nema encroaches on the county mandate. He also rejected claims that such licence fees constitute double taxation.

He said such annual licence fees by Nema was premised on the existing provisions of the Environment Management and Coordination Act, 1999 and the Environment Management Waste Regulations 2006, which have not been declared unconstitutional.

The judge also stated that the Association failed to plead the requisite claims of unconstitutionality in law.

They had contended that Sections 87, 88 and 89 of the Environment Management and Coordination (EMCA) Act, 1999 were unconstitutional as the duties, alluded to vide the said sections, were devolved to the county government by the Constitution.

However, Justice Mboya said the petition was "pretty short and very economical in content and lacking in particulars".

"There is no paragraph that has outlined the disputed Sections of the EMCA Act, 1999 and similarly there are no particulars, which have been pleaded or supplied to underscore the manner in which the disputed sections contravene or violate Part Two of the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution," said the judge.

"To my mind, it was incumbent upon the Petitioner to specifically raise his complaint in the body of the Petition and thereafter venture to supply the requisite particulars complained of, in an established manner," he stated.

On claims of discrimination on account of levying and charging differentiated License fees, the judge found that there was no credible and sufficient evidence to prove the same.

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Source : Businessdaily Africa