The High Court has temporarily suspended the reinstatement of transaction charges between mobile wallets and bank accounts that came into effect on January 1, 2023.
The court issued the suspension order on Thursday pending the hearing and determination of a petition that was filed in 2022 by a petitioner named Moses Wafula to challenge the reintroduction of the transaction charges.
Wafula argued the reintroduction of the transaction charges violated, infringed and continue to threaten his rights and those of other members of the public.
"The Applicant contends that his rights and the rights of other members of the public have been violated, infringed and continue to be threatened by the 1st Respondent herein and the Government of Kenya in view of the directive issued by the Intended 3rd Respondent on 6th December 2022," the court documents read.
Wafula reasoned that members of the public will lose a lot of funds if the court finds his MPESA paybill platform the banks are riding on in contravention of the constitution and various statutory provisions
"THAT, if the Banks continue riding on this Mpesa Paybill infrastructure, making money from members of the public, then in the event that this honourable court finds this Mpesa paybill platform in contravention of the constitution and various statutory provisions, the impact will be higher; more funds from the members of the public would have been lost and it may be a lot more difficult to ask the banks to refund such funds collected from the members of the public," Wafula argued.
The ruling comes as a relief for Kenyans who were already accustomed to cashless mobile transactions.
The Central Bank of Kenya announced the reintroduction of charges for transactions between mobile money wallets and bank accounts on December 6, 2022.
The transaction charges were waived in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic as a measure to curb the spread of the virus.
The matter has been scheduled for mention on January 23, 2023.