The High Court of Kenya has issued a conservatory order suspending the increase or review of essential Government services fees. This follows a gazette notice that surfaced and was shared yesterday on social media resulting in public outrage due to abrupt and wild fee hikes.
The gazette notice proposed exorbitant fees to be charged for government services including issuance of passports, ID application and replacement, and marriage certificates, some of which have been free for a long time.
The petition filed to the High Court today by one Dr. Magare Gikenyi J Benjamin has been certified as urgent and shall be heard on a priority basis. Additionally, both the Application and the Petition will be served within 3 days.
A Court Order shared today issuing the conservatory orders reads in part, “A conservatory order be and is hereby issued suspending Gazette Notices No. 15239–15242 dated 6th November 2023 and/or any other document purporting to give authority to increase or review the charges/fees/levies specified therein pending the hearing and determination of this Application inter–partes.”
The gazette notices suspended proposes an increase of up to 10x the charges currently being charged for crucial services and documents. In addition, some services will have a fee introduced for the first time. For example, new ID applicants would have to pay KES. 1,000 from the current KES. 0 charged.
Additionally, replacing a lost ID will cost KES. 2,000 from the current KES. 100. These are just but a few of the ridiculous fee increases being proposed for a range of essential Government services. Given the prevailing harsh economic conditions, introducing these charges would put Kenyans at an even more difficult spot.
The confirmation of compliance and further directions will be given on November 29, 2023.