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KRA's Sh5B payment to milk, bread firms behind leadership purge

KRA Chair Anthony Mwaura speaks on suspicious Sh5 billion payment that cost KRA top bosses their jobs

KRA chairman Antony Mwaura and former Commissioner General Githii Mburu

Kenya Revenue Authority Chairperson Anthony Mwaura has said that the tax man kicked out senior officials after discovering suspicious tax exemptions and refunds offered to individuals in the previous government.

Mwaura singled out major bread and milk industry players who were benefiting by allegedly concluding with senior KRA officials.

He revealed said that as late as last week, a suspicious Sh5 billion was paid out as tax refunds.

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"There are firms dealing with milk and bread that were given Sh5 billion tax refunds as late as last week. This is a blatant abuse of office. We are pushing Kenyans to pay taxes and the KRA management was refunding people billions illegally.

"That is why we said enough is enough and purged them. We will through the help of Treasury ensure that unnecessary tax exemptions are reversed,” Mwaura said.

According to Mwaura, the country has incurred a loss of roughly Sh1 trillion in the last three years due to tax abandonment, exemptions, and refunds provided to both local and international companies.

The KRA board is determined to recover this amount and is willing to take all necessary measures to do so.

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"People think we are fighting a lost cause but they will be surprised. I have targets to meet with my board and I will not relent. We are committed, even if it means risking our lives to see the country become self-reliant on its taxes," said Mwaura.

The KRA chairperson highlighted that they have set a new target of Sh2.7 trillion, which is an increase of Sh400 billion from the previous target of Sh2.2 trillion.

The taxman’s strategy to reach this target involves cracking down on tax cheats, preventing illegal refunds and unnecessary exemptions, and tackling corruption within the organization's workforce.

The board is now betting on the new team led by acting Commissioner General Rispah Simiyu was appointed after the exit of her predecessor James Githii Mburu.

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Below are the new changes effected in KRA by the board:

  • Pamela Ahago appointed the Acting Commissioner Domestic Taxes. 
  • David Mwangi, the Acting Commissioner Customs and Border Control. 
  • David Yego, the Commissioner in charge of Intelligence, Strategic Operations, Investigation and Enforcement,
  • Nancy Ng'etich, the Acting Commissioner Corporate Support Services.
  • Dr. Mohammed Omar retained as the Commissioner Strategy Innovation and Risk Management. 
  • Dr. Fred Mugambi Mwirigi retained the Commissioner Kenya School Revenue Administration position. 
  • Paul Matuku retained the Commissioner Legal Services and Board Mi Coordination Board Chairman.

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