Kenya: Changes at revenue authority create season of confusion

By Son Gatitu

Posted on Monday, 13 March 2023 17:28
Employees of the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) leave the authority headquarters after office hours in capital Nairobi November 10, 2015. REUTERS

Kenya’s new regime under President William Ruto continues to impose itself in public institutions in what is turning out to be a mix of political vendetta and an attempt to correct “mistakes” of the previous administration. Two memos by a Ruto ally at the Kenya Revenue Authority have put the country’s tax collector in the hot seat as Kenyans seek to understand the new playbook.

The new board at the Kenya Revenue Authority sent five commissioners packing late last month, including Githii Mburu, who had served as the commissioner general since July 2019. His tenure, which had been extended from three to five years, was set to expire in June 2024. KRA Board Chairman Anthony Mwaura released a statement saying Mburu “resigned to pursue personal interests”.

In his place, the board appointed Rispah Simiyu, who had been serving as commissioner of domestic taxes, to lead the organisation in an acting capacity, while Pamela Ahago filled his vacant seat as acting commissioner.