President William Ruto on Friday, May 26 tore into the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over what he considers its failure to properly execute its mandate, accusing staff at the authority of costing the government crucial revenue and facilitating leakages.
The President described KRA’s performance as ‘lackluster’ as he demanded changes.
“The tax base remains far short of its full potential,” he stated.
“I must tell you. Collusion, wanton bribe-taking and general corruption continue to pervade operations of KRA. There are many people who are encouraged and facilitated by KRA staff not to pay tax, and you know what I am saying is true,” Ruto observed.
Ruto further accused the authority of attempting to maximize revenue collection using processes that belong to ‘a bygone era’, offering examples including “disruptive stoppages of revenue-generating operations, time consuming, laborious and inefficient assessment methods and a flagrant penchant for intimidation through arbitrary prosecution.”
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The President maintained that the authority needed to craft a new image to boost public confidence.
He stated that many officials at KRA did not work for the State, but rather for themselves and the entities seeking to evade taxes.
“If we ask Kenyans to step forward and name the people who help them to evade tax, I don’t know how many staff members will remain at KRA,” a tough-talking Ruto stated.
Ruto particularly claimed that individuals in KRA had been compromised by betting firms looking to evade taxes. He stated that the integration of betting companies’ systems with mobile money platforms and KRA had resulted in increased collection.
“Those people who do betting, they pay staff at KRA, and you know they do, so that they don’t have to pay all the taxes that are due to the Government of Kenya. So I asked, why don’t we digitize…We did that, and the numbers that are being paid by our betting companies has changed.”
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