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December 17, 2017

KRA boss John Njiraini fights retirement after Omtatah suit

KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini during the Itax re-launch press briefing in Nairobi, October 10, 2017. /ENOS TECHE
KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini during the Itax re-launch press briefing in Nairobi, October 10, 2017. /ENOS TECHE

Tax chief John Njiraini has dismissed as baseless, a suit for him to be sent on compulsory leave pending retirement.

Njiraini also told a court on Thursday that the suit is aimed at demeaning his status.

He said he has not sought an extension of his contract as the Commissioner General of Kenya Revenue Authority beyond the stipulated expiry date, contrary to claims by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Omtatah has accused the taxman of failing to send Njiraini on terminal leave pending his retirement, and claimed further that the commissioner is quietly scheming to have his tenure extended.

More on this: ‘Old’ KRA boss should retire, Omtatah says

Also read: ‘Old’ John Njiraini told to make way at KRA

But Njiraini has dismissed the claims saying his appointment to the office is well founded in law and that his term will come to an end in March 2018.

He says the case by Omtatah is speculative as he has not applied for any extension and neither has the KRA board made any public pronouncement of its intention to renew his terms.

“This court should not countenance false allegations made without any basis to embarrass and demean me,” he said.

Njiraini was appointed on March 4, 2015 for a term of three years.

“According to the contract that I signed with the KRA board of directors, it is expressly provided that my engagement with the KRA is for a period of three years commencing March 4, 2015," he says in his response tot he activist.

"That period is set to expire on March 3, 2018."

The official also says whereas Omtatah is perfectly entitled to access justice in courts, he has failed to demonstrate and particularise how his appointment infringed on anyone’s right.

Omtatah, Njiraini says did not bother to enquire whether the board has already put in place relevant processes to ensure his successor is appointed upon the expiry of his contract.

“Even without prejudice, at the time of filing this suit he admitted that I am yet to reach the alleged mandatory retirement age of 60 years” he says.

“To a large extent, this case amounts to an invitation that the court should supervise and superintend over the Executive arm of the government in the performance of its functions and without a solid basis in law."

According to the KRA boss, the activist has also not demonstrated how he has violated the constitution, the Leadership and Integrity Act in particular.

Omtatah has argued that Njiraini’s tenure cannot be extended by law and it would be irregular to retain him after he attains retirement age.

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