Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the Director General of National Intelligence Service Major-General Phillip Wachira Kameru
The all-powerful Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the influential Director General of National Intelligence Service Major-General Phillip Wachira Kameru are shielding the Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini from prosecution and from being replaced.
The two state officials are also responsible for ensuring Njiraini remains as at the helm of KRA despite reaching the mandatory retirement age several years ago.
Confidential sources close to the presidency say that although President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued his orders to see institutional changes at KRA, Kinyua and Kameru had continued to conspire to protect their fellow Kikuyu and shield him from either being sacked or prosecuted for economic crimes.
Most State House officials believe Kameru and Kinyua have been doctoring intelligence reports to protect fellow Kikuyus while fixing individuals from other ethnicities. A case in point is when a staggering Sh9 billion was misappropriated at the National Youth Service (NYS) and the then Youth Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki was not been called upon to step aside as happened to her predecessor.
This has unfortunately lent credence to accusations of double standards in the fight against corruption which has clearly taken an ethnic angle.
Over the years, despite massive investment to enhance capacity, it had become apparent that KRA under Njiraini had failed in its primary mandate of collecting tax and allowing taxpayers to file returns promptly and efficiently.
KRA insiders attribute this failure to deliberate acts of sabotage by Njiraini’s well entrenched networks within the tax collection agency.
These networks thrive in the chaotic environment which makes it impossible to be accountable. The result has been inability by KRA to meet tax collection targets year in year out.
Due to the pivotal role it plays in Kenya’s national economy, it is important that KRA carries out it’s tax collection mandate with efficiency and effectiveness. Anything to the contrary amounts to economic sabotage.
What has confounded observers is that despite presiding over runaway corruption that has cost the exchequer hundreds of billions of shillings in lost revenue, the corrupt Njiraini has remained firmly in charge of the of the tax collection agency.
While the KRA has won itself two ISO certifications, there are gross failures in service delivery areas such as debt collection especially from large tax payers. Another department Njiraini’s KRA has totally failed is poor record keeping, which insiders attribute to acts of sabotage by staff aligned to Njiraini.
In the recent purported fight against corruption by the state, in other government agencies, particularly those not headed by Kikuyus, the CEOs have promptly been sacked and charged in court for abuse of office. The question remains why this is not happening at KRA.
The answer lies in the intricate ring fencing that both Kinyua and Kameru have placed around the incompetent Njiraini using their powerful offices and rendering him virtually untouchable.
Not only are the two protecting Njiraini, they are micromanaging promotions and staff recruitment within the giant tax collection agency which has for many years favoured members from a particular ethnic community as revealed on this blog earlier
With Kenya sinking deeper and deeper into economic doldrums, it remains to be seen if President Kenyatta will take any decisive action to save KRA from the crutches of Njiraini cartels.
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