Relief for KRA in Prof. Ojienda tax compliance case

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will not issue a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC) to Prof. Tom Ojienda for the time being.

A Court of Appeal decision on February 6 stopped the execution of a High Court order that had compelled the taxman to issue Prof. Ojienda with the certificate.

The Court of Appeal ruling further stopped the order which would have obligated the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) to process Prof. Ojienda’s nomination to contest Judicial Service Commission elections without a TCC.

Judges of Appeal M.K. Koome, A.K. Murgor and S. ole Kantai delivered the ruling adding that, “We are satisfied that the applicant has satisfied the principles upon which an application of this nature is granted and we therefore grant a stay of execution … and any consequential orders pending determination of the applicant’s intended appeal.”

The order had initially been issued by High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany on December 4, 2018, following Prof. Ojienda’s petition to the High Court on November 22 against KRA and the LSK.

KRA appealed the High Court order to issue Prof. Tom Ojienda with a TCC by stating, that complying with the order would make Prof. Ojienda tax compliant despite alleged tax arrears.

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The Court of Appeal ruled in favor of KRA, stating that, “compelling KRA to issue a Tax Compliance Certificate to Prof. Ojienda without checking compliance according to the laid down procedure, will contravene provisions of the Tax Procedures Act and the Constitution.”

Further, the Court of Appeal was satisfied that if the orders of the High Court are not stayed, KRA will be compelled to issue a TCC without it first being established whether it would be contrary to the laid down procedure required by law.

The Court also observed that, if the order of stay was not issued, the LSK would be denied an opportunity to vet the nominee (Prof. Ojienda) for the position of LSK male representative to the JSC using the same criteria as for the other candidates.

The Court also found that if the orders of stay were not granted, the intended appeal by KRA will be rendered useless.

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