, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Container Freight Station (CFS) association Chief Executive Officer Daniel Nzeki on Saturday came to the defence of Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho over tax evasion allegations.
Nzeki said Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) should be held responsible for any contraband goods or tax evasion at the Port of Mombasa since it has officers stationed at the port to verify goods on transit.
“KRA is in control of the cargo scanner at the port and also has personnel at the port to open and verify any suspect consignment before release to the transit sheds. KRA also has officers stationed at the transit sheds who authorize the release of goods at the transit sheds after being satisfied that they comply with the customs laws and procedures,” he stated.
He wondered how Joho’s CFS companies would have been dealing with contraband goods and evading tax under the watch of KRA.
“This allegation is far from the truth and is an attempt by KRA to account for its own failures in verification of consignments at the port and monitoring of transit cargo.”
According to Nzeki, KRA further is mandated to license trucks that transport goods from the port and even has the mechanism to monitor movements of such good to and from the port.
“In some instances KRA escorts transit goods considered as high risk.”
“It is therefore, erroneous and misleading for KRA to mislead the public by stating that transit sheds are involved in the importation of contraband goods or diversion of transit goods.”
The association moved to court to challenge regulations imposed by KRA which according to Nzeki are infringing on smooth operations of CFSs.
The court stayed implementation of the regulations especially the association’s request to stop KRA from determining CFS that importers should use.
The association wants importers to have the freedom of choosing their own CFS without KRA’s interference.
“Among the contentious issues in the regulations is that provision denying importers the right to choose a CFS and instead KRA and KPA to determine where to take cargo.”
The association went to court to further oppose a new regulation that requires CFS’s to renew their licenses every two years: “This may not be economically viable should the renewal be denied after the multi-million shillings investments have been made.”
Earlier on Saturday, KRA responded to claims that Joho’s CFS companies were suspended because of his political difference with the Jubilee government.
KRA defended the move saying the suspension was in line with its measures intended to curb tax evasion and control contraband goods.