Njiraini named Kenya’s next tax chief

January 19, 2012 3:25 pm


John Njiraini with outgoing KRA boss Michael Waweru/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – John Njiraini has been picked to become the next Commissioner General of the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Njiraini, who is currently the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes in charge of the Large Taxpayers office, will take over from Michael Waweru on March 4.

While making the announcement, KRA board chairman Major (Rtd) Marsden Madoka disclosed that Njiraini’s appointment had already been ratified by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We had set out the criteria for the person we wanted as the commissioner general. We went through that process; we interviewed them (candidates) on the various aspects and it so happened that he (Njiraini) emerged tops,” the chairman disclosed.

Njiraini scored 86.7 percent while Wambui Namu who’s currently the Commissioner of Customs was second with 76 percent in the interviews that kicked off on Monday January 16 and ended on Thursday January 18.

Njiraini was picked from a shortlist of seven candidates that included Barclays Bank Managing Director Adan Mohamed, James Njuguna, Hellen Bila, Alice Achieng Owuor and James Gituro Wahome.

The board was also seeking to fill the positions of Commissioner for Domestic Tax Department of Large Tax Payers Office and Commissioner Customs Services, which will fall vacant between March and April this year.

For the posts, the board named Pancrasius Nyagah as the new Commissioner of Domestic Taxes – Large Taxpayers office while Beatrice Memo will be the Commissioner of Customs Services, a position that is currently been held by Wambui Namu.

The board has however been criticised for not opening up the process to the public but in a quick rejoinder, Madoka said it was a transparent process that was done according to the law.

“It must be appreciated that this is not a constitutional office. We have acted with the provisions of the KRA Act and we are satisfied that what we did was the right thing,” he stressed.

Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) had deferred with this argument and on Wednesday filed a case in court seeking to have the process stopped.

However according to Madoka, Cofek is time barred.

“That (the court case) has no bearing because if you looked at our calendar, we had set the dates for interviews and so the process was not rushed in any way. In any case, we have not been served with any papers telling us not to continue with the process,’ the chairman remarked.

Further, he defended Waweru over his remarks that the job should go to a KRA insider, saying the outgoing tax boss had not influenced the process.

Soon after the decision, the board of Barclays Bank of Kenya sent out a statement saying that Mohamed’s application for the position of Commissioner General was done with its full and that of Barclays PLC.

“Notwithstanding that, the bank considers Mr Mohamed highly valuable and pivotal in the continued growth of the bank’s business in East and West Africa, the bank supported Mr Mohamed’s offer to serve in the public service on the basis that such a step was not only in fulfilment of an honourable civic duty but also a positive development for the country in the new dispensation,” the board said.


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