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Gender balance?

Five to battle it out for top KRA post

Fewer women in corner office

In Summary

• The job description for the position needs 15 years of work experience

Times Tower which houses the Kenya Revenue Authority head office.
Times Tower which houses the Kenya Revenue Authority head office.
Image: FILE

The public have four days to raise any integrity issues on the five finalists shortlisted to replace outgoing Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner General John Njiraini.

“…any person(s) with information deemed relevant for the purpose of the Board’s assessment of the candidates’ suitability may share the same using the contact details … not later than Friday 31st May 2019,” reads the public notice,  in yesterday's daily newspapers.

 

The job description for the position includes overseeing daily operations and providing leadership for thousands of staff across the country.

The successful candidate should have a first degree from an accredited university and at least 15 years experience, including at senior leadership or management.

Recruiting consultants PriceWaterhouse Coopers narrowed candidates from 30 to five, for a job that attracted two female contenders.

Among the five is veteran accountant Julius Waita Mwatu. He started his accounting career with PKF tax firm as an audit and tax officer, and later joined Ernst &Young and KPMG as a trainer and tax consultant.

Andrew Okello, the International Monetary Fund(IMF) regional advisor in charge of East and Central Africa on tax matters, is also in the race to sit on his former boss’s chair.

He was commissioner for domestic taxes at KRA, and is credited with reforms in the authority including the enactment of the ETR and the Simba module 111 project.

Richard Boro Ndung’u was once head of tax at KPMG, a role that found him head to courts after suing the audit firm for expelling him as a partner for protesting how long an investigation into his role in a colleague's domestic dispute had taken.

 

James Githii Mburu is an insider at the tax authority as commissioner intelligence and strategic operations. He has been key in the war to rid the country of counterfeit and illegal goods, working with together with the government multiagency team led a raid

Duncan Otieno Onduru is executive director of Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators. The body is made up of finance ministers from commonwealth nations and helps member countries through training programmes, publications and knowledge sharing to promote sustainable development and good governance.

The post of Commissioner general was advertised in April, with John Njiraini set to leave office next month.

Njiraini has been at the helm of the tax authority since March 2012 following his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta, then finance minister.

He replaced Michael Waweru. It is during his tenure that filing of all tax returns was fully implemented digitally on the iTax platform.

KRA has been struggling to meet its revenue targets

Njiraini's successor will grapple with sealing tax loopholes at a time when the authority's staff are in court for engaging in corruption and abetting tax evasion.

The new chief will also have the key performance indicator of meeting revenue targets set by Treasury, as the government struggles to meet its debt repayment.

The National Treasury has had to cut government spending by Sh83 million from a budget of Sh2.5 trillion this financial year. In the 2016/2017 financial year, the taxman missed the collection target by Sh50 billion, making only Sh1.36 trillion.