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Igathe, Oigara tipped for KRA, Safaricom jobs

In Summary

• The race to succeed John Njiraini as KRA boss is gaining momentum with former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe among big guns said to be favorites for the job.

• The KCB CEO Joshua Oigara  is also another favourite candidate to succeed Bob Collymore at Safaricom after the Telcom firm’s boss term end in October this year.

The race to succeed John Njiraini as KRA boss is gaining momentum with former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe among big guns said to be favourites for the job.

Insiders told the Star that the KCB CEO Joshua Oigara  is also another favourite candidate to succeed Bob Collymore at Safaricom after the Telcom firm’s boss term end in October this year.

Oigara has been at the helm of the largest bank in Kenya in terms of asset value since November 30, 2012, is expected to exit the financial institution in the next three years. As a result, he might be forced to terminate his contract for the Sh 63.4 billion profit-making telecom firm.

“I have three years to the end of my 10-year contract. I have done what was supposed to be done. There is no need in overstaying,” Oigara said in a last interview.

The Star established that the state was waiting for the row between Vodacom and government to end after the government insisted the next chief executive of Safaricom must be a local after Collymore steps down for health reasons.

“Surprisingly a number of people who were being considered for the KRA job were also considered for the Safaricom job,” a key national treasury official told the Star. Others considered for the big jobs are Telkom CEO Mugo Kibati.

On his part, Igathe-expected to replace Njiraini- was appointed Equity Bank Managing Director after falling out with vocal and flamboyant Nairobi governor Mike Sonko.

Key Sonko employees told the Star in an expose at that time the governor could not get well with his deputy for pushing state house interests.

On his part, Igathe is said to have blamed his boss for being unprofessional in the management of the city.

The 46-year-old will have the colossal task of raising enough revenue to finance the government’s Sh2.9 trillion annual budget.

 

“KRA seeks to recruit the Commissioner-General who, as Chief Executive Officer, will lead the institution through its transformative journey,” read the advert in the Government’s weekly publication,” MyGov last month.

The Audit firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) contracted to recruit the next commissioner-general gave applicants 10 days to submit their documents believed to be a short window for the kind of high-profile position. By the time of going to press PwC and Igathe had not responded to our quesions.

Njiraini’s departure will end his seven-year controversial stint at KRA in a history where his team never met revenue targets set by the Treasury during his tenure as the country’s chief tax collector.

Njiraini, 62, was appointed to head KRA in 2012 by President Uhuru Kenyatta who was serving as then the Minister of Finance. He first served two and then three-year terms, which came to end on March 3 last year. The term was later extended for an undisclosed period.

KRA board last year under Edward Sambili held a special general meeting to send home Njiraini on terminal leave pending his retirement.

The board headed by Edward Sambili was sent home a few days later in a special gazette notice.  Ambassador Francs Muthaura was appointed and his appointment backdated to squash the previous board's decision to send Njiraini.