Kenya: Reprieve for flower farms as Meru court halts cess collection

The flower industry is set to close the year on a positive note after it won the first round of its many battles with devolved units over collection of cess.

Last week, the High Court issued a permanent order barring Meru County government from collecting cess for fresh cut flowers meant for export in a case filed by the Kenya Flower Council (KFC).

Justice Francis Gikonyo said the order will remain in force “until proper mechanism of collection and harmonisation of cess is reached, through consultation of stakeholders.”

The KFC, which sees cess as a form of double tax, has been fighting in courts to have the levy scrapped since the days of the defunct local authorities such as Naivasha and Nakuru county councils.

In the decision delivered in Meru last week, Justice Gikonyo said the action by Meru Government in which it has been stopping the movement of trucks loaded with floricultural products, was unconstitutional.

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