Kenya

Fairness at divorce

Two new judgments from the courts in Kenya and Zimbabwe underline changing judicial views about the role of women in building up a family home and the contribution that women, as wives and mothers, may be said, on divorce, to have made. One stresses with new urgency that women who work in the home should stand up for their rights and, at divorce, be prepared to give evidence in court about the significance of their contribution to the home.

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Women facing divorce settlements are often particularly vulnerable to claims that they are not entitled to equal shares of matrimonial property because their financial contributions to the property had been less than the contributions of their former husbands.

Long struggle for justice after failed Kenya coup

Reverberations from Kenya’s 1982 coup attempt were felt once again last week, this time in a high court case brought by former members of the armed forces, tortured in the wake of the failed coup. The plotters had tried to get rid of the then president, Daniel Moi. After being held for more than a year, one of the former members of the armed forces involved in the litigation was subsequently let go without any charges.

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Almost 40 years after a coup attempt that shook Kenya to its foundations, ten former officers have won a long battle for compensation. This followed their detention and torture in the wake of the failed attempt to overturn the government.

Court finds Kenya’s new tax law unconstitutional; calls government’s ‘vaccine’ for ‘virus’ of non- tax payments, ‘inappropriate’

Kenya’s high court has declared a controversial new tax law unconstitutional. The proposed new law would have seen taxpayers paying tax on gross turnover when they declared a loss or not enough profit to be billed for income tax. The government wanted the new law providing for a minimum tax to help state finances after Covid-19’s incursions on the fiscus. The decision is to go on appeal, but in the meantime the new tax cannot be levied.

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Kenya’s high court judge, David Odunga, had already suspended the newly introduced law, saying in April that it should be kept on ice until the dispute over its unconstitutionality had been argued and decided.

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