Could Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini have stage-managed staff arrests to remain in office?
The Daily Nation on Thursday reported that KRA had “recalled from retirement to ‘manage the crisis’ after the agency was rocked by one of the biggest corruption purges to hit a State corporation in the country”.
Njiraini was to vacate office at the end of June, but had already proceeded for his terminal leave.
According to sources, some KRA employees are accusing Njiraini of orchestrating the crackdown that has so far seen more than 50 of their colleagues charged over abuse of office and tax evasion.
Consequently, there is a reported go slow at KRA as staff kept off work fearing arrest. This forced the management to hold a crisis meeting with members of staff and defended Njiraini.
Board chairman Francis Muthaura had to issue an internal memo assuring departmental heads and staff that in future, such an operation would be conducted in a different manner and urged them to continue operations without interruption.
In February last year, KRA board offered Njiraini a one-year extension of contract, following an order from the Presidency. This was despite him attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years.
At that time, activist Okiyah Omtatah had asked the court to compel the KRA board and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to appoint an acting commissioner-general while sending Njiraini, who turned 60 on December 20, 2017 on terminal leave.
In the case, Njiraini had said Omtatah’s case on his retirement was speculative and an abuse of the court process. In his court papers, Njiraini said has not applied for an extension of his term, which was end on March 3, 2018.
He ended up extending his stay at Time Towers.
On April 16, audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) put up an advertisement for the tax agency’s top job, signalling an end to Njiraini’s seven-year stint.