Kenya's tax authority says tackling corruption, misconduct
11 November 2015, 21:37
Nairobi - Kenya's tax authority has launched a campaign to encourage
people to report evasion and to crack down on staff misconduct, it said on
Tuesday, after media allegations of corruption.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said it will vet staff for
misconduct and step up efforts to prevent abuses when calculating customs
Companies and investors cite pervasive graft as one of the
biggest challenges to doing business in Kenya and U.S. President Barack Obama
raised the issue when he visited in July.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised a crackdown and
several ministers have been suspended as graft charges are investigated. But
critics want more action, such as high-profile prosecutions, to show that no
one is above the law.
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"KRA welcomes public scrutiny into tax administration
operations, including the conduct of its staff," the agency said in a
statement, adding it had a web-based system to receive information from the
public on "tax evasion and corruption".
It published the statement in newspapers on Tuesday, saying
it was responding to allegations in Kenya's Sunday Nation weekly on pricing and
duties on secondhand vehicle imports. The KRA said it wanted the newspaper to
share more details.
It also listed steps it had taken to prevent mispricing of
imported vehicles. From Dec. 1, certificates issued by the Kenya Bureau of
Standards would be required to clear cargo through customs to prevent any
"misdeclaring of goods entering Kenya".
Western trade and aid partners have often urged Kenya to do
more to halt corruption.
"As I have said many times, corruption is undermining
Kenya's future," U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec, said on Monday
when discussing a U.S. trade deal with Africa. "It is destroying jobs and
causing investors to take their money elsewhere."