The chief taxman has sent a demand letter to Nation Media Group (NMG) over a story published three weeks ago linking him to a powerful political campaign lobby, the Friends of Jubilee Foundation.
Mr John Njiraini, the director-general of the Kenya Revenue Authority, has categorically denied involvement in the Friends of the Jubilee Foundation and says a story that was published by the Sunday Nation stating that he was participating in partisan political activity in contravention of the law was factually incorrect.
The taxman, through his lawyers, is demanding a full apology, a removal of the article from Nation Media Group’s online platforms and an undertaking from the media house to “pay damages to our client for defaming him.”
Mr Njiraini says in his demand letter – dispatched by the firm of Waweru Gatonye and Co Advocates – that he has never been a member of the Jubilee Foundation nor is he a signatory to their account.
The lobby is said to have raised huge amounts of money for the Jubilee campaigns at a dinner last month with some estimates putting it in the region of Ksh1 billion although no official figures have been given by the organisers.
“According to our client, the a*********s linking him to political activities under the auspices of the Friends of Jubilee Foundation are malicious and fabricated. To be more specific, we are instructed to point out to you, the following:
- Contrary to the a*********s made, Mr John Njiraini is neither a board member not a trustee of the said Friends of Jubilee Foundation. This is a simple fact that you ought to have confirmed their with the foundation itself prior to the publication.
- Our client is neither a signatory to the Jubilee Foundation’s Bank accounts nor is he involved in the management of its finances. This fact could easily have been confirmed with the foundation or its bankers.
- Contrary to your a*********s, our client has never spoken to you regarding his attendance or non-attendance at the dinner nor had he authorized anyone to speak on the matter on his behalf.”
The lawyers say that Mr Njirani is “a conscientious public servant who strives to always abide by the law” and was not, as insinuated by the paper using his office for any i*****l activities.
The Sunday Nation cited documentation in its articles which Mr Njiraini is now questioning.
The publication of the story saw journalist Walter Menya a******d for allegedly soliciting a bribe from an NGO coordination board official, which he denies. He was later released following an application by Siaya Senator James Orengo.